Dimakiling, Nouri shock Foreign GMs as Pinoy bets start strongly in Subic int’l tourney
The Filipinos, led by International Master Oliver Dimakiling and Hamed Nouri, started strongly in the PSC/Puregold International Chess Classic at Subic Bay Peninsular Hotel in Olongapo, Zambales, Tuesday night.
Dimakiling, bidding for his last GM result, stunned Russian GM Boris Savchenko while Nouri shocked Belarusian GM Vladislav Kovalev to share the early lead in the nine-round Swiss event.
Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre, United States-based GM Mark Paragua and four-time Olympian GM Darwin Laylo also chalked the full point against local rivals as they seemed fresh after skipping last week’s Philippine International Chess Championship won by Chinese GM Wang Hao.
Torre, the highest-ranked Filipino in the fold at ninth, beat Roel Abelgas; Paragua bested Woman IM Sarvinoz Kurbonboeva of Uzbekistan; while Laylo downed WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda.
There was a rash of upsets as Indian Harshit Raja ambushed Georgian GM Merab Gagunashvili and Vietnamese Fide Master Minh Thang Tran toppled Georgian GM Mikheil Mchedishvili.
Belarusian GM Kirill Stupak, Armenian GM Tigran Kotanjan and Chinese WGM Lei Tingle held fort against lesser lights.
Stupak thwarted Janelle Mae Frayna, the Philippines’ first Woman GM; Kotanjan trounced Challenger Division winner John Marvin Miciano, while Lei tamed Alvin Roma.
Vietnamese IM Tuan Minh Tran, showing that his second place finish to Wang was no fluke, trounced Ali Branzuela.
Rising IMs Jan Emmanuel Garcia and Paulo Bersamina also proved their mettle when they held Wang and second-ranked GM Anton Demchenko of Russia to draws.
GM-elect Haridas Pascua, the best performer among the Filipinos in the PICC at 12th place, also split the point against Georgian GM Levan Pantsulaia.
The tournament is organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines headed by Rep. Prospero “Butch” Pichay and backed by the Philippine Sports Commission under Chair Butch Ramirez and Puregold. —ROY LUARCA
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