Russians, Sadorra down opening foes
RUSSIAN Grandmasters Ivan Popov and Anton Demchenko lived up to their top billing last night, besting Filipino foes to share the early lead in the Philippine International Chess Championship at Celebrity Sports Plaza in Quezon City.
Popov, the No. 1 seed with an Elo rating of 2622, beat Noel Dela Cruz, while Demchenco, No. 2 with a 2611 Elo, tamed International Master Chito Garma to join 17 other first round winners.
United States-based GM Julio Catalino Sadorra (Elo 2575) led the Filipinos’ charge by downing IM Ronald Bancod.
GM Oliver Barbosa, back from a six-month US campaign, whipped Merben Roque to serve notice of his title bid in the $30,000 tournament.
Chess Olympiad veterans John Paul Gomez and Darwin Laylo followed suit by disposing of IM Joel Pimentel and Fide Master Mari Jose Torqueza, respectively.
Multi-titled GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. and GM Richard Bitoon beat youngsters Mongolian FM Sumiya Bilguun and WIM Janelle Mae Frayna, in that order.
Georgian GMs Levan Pantsulaia and Merab Gagunashvili also showed their mettle by hurdling Raymond Salcedo and Roel Abelgas, respectively.
Other foreign GMs—Avetik Grigoryan of Armenia and Mikhail Mozharov of Russia—joined the pacesetters with victories over David Elorta and Paulo James Florendo, respectively.
FM Paulo Bersamina subdued WFM Marie Antoniette San Diego in a battle between 2014 Asian Juniors and Girls Championships campaigners.
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