Torre grabs lead in Battle of GMs
Legendary Grandmaster Eugene Torre, showing steady nerves, bested new sensation Woman International Master Janelle Frayna Wednesday night and wrested the lead in the Battle of Grandmasters Open division at Philippine Sports Commission Athletes Dining Hall in Manila.
The 62-year-old Torre,Asia’s first GM who manned board 1 for the Philippines in 18 Chess Olympiads, pounced on a weak 45th move by Frayna, the reigning woman national champion, in their Trompovsky Attack battle, to win three moves later and pace the 12-player field.
Defending champion and erstwhile leader GM John Paul Gomez settled for a draw with GM Joey Antonio after 31 moves of a Bogo Indian and trailed Torre at 16.5 points.
Tied at 15.0 points were young IMs Jan Emmanuel Garcia and Paulo Bersamina. Garcia, 18-year-old standout of Ateneo de Manila University, drew with GM Darwin Laylo while Bersamina, 16, downed GM Richard Bitoon.
Christy Bernales led the Women’s division with 19.5 points, followed by WIM Catherine Perena, board 1 player of the country’s team in the Istanbul Olympiad, with 16.5.
The ninth round of the 11-round event was being played at presstime.