Oliver Barbosa clinches final GM result; Richard Bitoon next?
MANILA, Philippines — Add Oliver Barbosa to the Philippines’ stable of Grandmasters.
Barbosa beat fellow International Master Nguyen Van Huy in the seventh round then split the point with Malaysian IM Mas Hafizulhelmi in the eighth late Friday to earn his third and final Grandmaster result with one round left in the DYTM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The former University of the Philippines stalwart raised his total 6.5 points, the needed score for a GM aspirant according to tournament director and event organizer Fide Master Peter Long.
in the single-round robin, category 9 World Chess Federation-sanctioned tournament.
Barbosa, pride of Taytay, Rizal, got his first GM result during the 10th Asian Continental Individual Chess Championships in Mashhad, Iran, last May. He obtained his second GM result during the National Chess Championship: 4th Battle of the Grandmasters at the National Press Club in Intramuros, Manila, last July.
Currently ranked No. 4 in the country with an Elo rating of 2538, Barbosa will tackle former Asian junior champion GM Nguyen Anh Dung in the ninth and final round, needing a victory to secure the title.
Barbosa is set to become the country’s 15th GM after Eugene Torre, Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr., Buenaventura “Bong” Villamayor, Nelson Mariano II, Mark Paragua, Wesley So, Darwin Laylo, Jayson Gonzales, John Paul Gomez, Joseph Sanchez, Roland Salvador, Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla Jr., Julio Catalino Sadorra and the late Rosendo Balinas Jr.
IM Richard Bitoon drew with Singaporean IM Goh Wei Ming and Indian IM Das Arghyadip, respectively, to tally 5.5 points. The native of Medellin, Cebu, needs to beat Uzbek GM Tahir Vakhidov in the final round to obtain his third and final GM norm.
The Filipinos’ are backed by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines headed by Prospero Pichay and the PSC.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.