Tagaytay closes in on Asian crown
TAGAYTAY CITY—Grandmaster Mark Paragua struck in the seventh round as host Tagaytay squeaked past Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia), 2.5-1.5, and boosted its bid for the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship-Dubai Cup title late Thursday night.
Paragua, a four-time Olympian, subdued Fide Master Myagmarsuren Gunbayar on board 2, to tilt the balance in Tagaytay’s favor.
The games pitting GM Oliver Barbosa against GM Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa, GM John Paul Gomez versus International Master Batkhuyag Mungutuul and GM Darwin Laylo against IM Gomsuren Munkhgal all ended in draws at Pagcor Tagaytay.
With its sixth win against a draw, top seed Tagaytay padded its match-point total to 13, two ahead of Chinese entries Shanghai and Wuxi in the race for the $3,000 champion’s purse plus the Dubai Cup.
Second seed Shanghai, with IM Lou Yiping and WGM Zhang Xiaowen prevailing over IM Rolando Nolte and IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia, respectively, handed Manila-PSC a 3-1 thrashing.
GMs Rogelio Antonio and Zhou Jianchao and GM Richard Bitoon and WGM Ju Wenjun settled for draws on boards 1 and 2.
Wuxi, which held Tagaytay to a 2-2 standoff in Round 6, clobbered Shah Alam (Malaysia), 3-1.
The penultimate eighth round was being played at presstime last night with Tagaytay, which has the support of the city council through Mayor Agnes Tolentino, tangling with Pasay-PAF.
Bolstered by its 3-1 conquest of Erdenet (Mongolia), Pasay-PAF caught up with Manila-PSC and Baghdad (Iraq) at 8 points and inched closer to 9-pointer Ulaanbaatar.
Though IM Barlo Nadera got waylaid by IM Namkhai Battulga on board 1, Onofre Espiritu, Raymond Salcedo and Allan Cantonjos retaliated with victories over Oyunbold Bilegsaikhan, Choidog Ganbold and Shagdarsuren Turbat, in that order.
Other seventh-round results saw Baghdad (Iraq) subdue Singapore, 2.5-1.5; Seoul (Korea) rip Bs Begawan (Brunei), 3-1; Sharjaj (UAE) blank Kuwait, 4-0; Colombo dump Abu Dhabi (UAE), 4-0; and Dubai (UAE) draw with Chinese Taipei, 2-2.
Round 8 action pitted Barbosa against Nadora, Paragua against Espiritu, Gomez against Salcedo, his chief rival for board 3 medalist, and Laylo against Cantonjos.
Manila-PSC was battling Sharjah in the 18-team event put up by Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, the Fide Asian Zone president.
The pairings are Antonio-GM A.R. Saleh Salim, Bitoon-IM Noaman Omar, Nolte-FM Jasem Alhumar and Garcia-Al Tahir Abdulla.
Asian Chess Federation deputy president Toti Abundo is tournament director of the Swiss System tournament.
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