Tagaytay downs Manila, grabs Asian inter-cities lead
TAGAYTAY CITY—Living up to its top billing, Tagaytay bested Manila-PSC, 2.5-1.5, in the third round and grabbed the solo lead in the Asian Cities Chess Team Championships-Dubai Cup at Tagaytay International Convention Center here.
Grandmasters Oliver Barbosa and John Paul Gomez gave Tagaytay the edge following victories over GM Rogelio Antonio and International Master Rolando Nolte, on boards 1 and 3, respectively, Monday night.
Tagaytay’s GM Darwin Laylo was held to a draw by Ateneo stalwart IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia in their board 4 tussle.
Manila-PSC (Philippine Sports Commission), ranked fourth in the 18-team field, drew the full point from Richard Bitoon, who downed fellow GM Mark Paragua in board 2.
“A draw is okay as it assured us (Tagaytay) of a win via match point,” said Laylo, a four-time Olympian and two-time World Chess Cup qualifier.
Tagaytay, boasting an average Elo rating of 2537, posted its third straight victory for a perfect 6.0 points in the nine-round Swiss System event being held through the intitiative of Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, the Fide Asian Zone 3.3 president.
Supported by the Tagaytay City Council through Mayor Agnes Tolentino, Tagaytay blanked Erdenet (Mongolia), 4-0, in the first round and whipped Sharjah (UAE), 3.5-0.5, in the second round.
Fifth-ranked Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) and second seed Shanghai (China) shared second spot with 5.0 points after chalking up third-round victories.
The Mongolians, led by GM Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa, nipped Shah Alam (Malaysia), 2.5-1.5, while the Chinese, bannered by GM Zhou Jianchao, blasted their compatriots from Wuxi, 3-1.
With its first loss after two straight wins, Manila-PSC got mired at 4.0 points in the company of Wuxi, Baghdad (Iraq), Pasay City-Philippine Air Force and Sharjah, which routed Colombo (Sri Lanka), 3.5-0.5.
Baghdad whipped Seoul (South Korea), 3-1, while Pasay City-PAF dumped Bs Begawan (Brunei), 3.5-0.5, on victories by IM Barlo Nadera, Raymond Salcedo and Allan Cantonjos. Kamarunsalehin averted a shutout for Brunei when he forged a draw with Onofre Espiritu.
Other third-round matches saw Baghdad clobber Seoul, 3-1; Dubai draw with Erdenet, 2-2; Singapore beat Abu Dhabi, 3.5-0.5; and Chinese Taipei conquer Kuwait, 3-1.
The fourth round was being held at presstime last night at Pagcor-Tagaytay with the host city battling Shanghai in the featured match. Manila-PSC aims to get back on track against Ulaanbaatar while Pasay City-PAF tries to bolster its drive against Baghdad.
According to tournament director Toti Abundo, also the Asian Chess Federation vice president, the top team will get $3,000 while the second and third placers will receive $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.