Asian Zonal: Gomez, Paragua off to solid starts | Inquirer Sports

Asian Zonal: Gomez, Paragua off to solid starts

By: - Editor / @RLuarcaINQ
/ 07:44 AM May 25, 2011

TAGAYTAY—Grandmasters John Paul Gomez and Mark Paragua struck for the Philippines last night, besting separate foes at the start of the Asian Zonal Chess Championships at the Tagaytay International Convention Center here.

Gomez, a two-time Olympian, bested Indonesian International Master Tirto in 37 moves of a Slav while Paragua, formerly the country’s top player, handled black superbly to beat countryman Edgar Reggie Olay in 34 moves of aGruenfeld defense.

The victories enabled Gomez and Paragua to grab the early lead in the race for the two 2011 World Cup berths at stake in the event organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines and hosted by the Tagaytay City government through Mayor Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, who is also the Asian Zone 3.3 president.


National Master Rhobel Legaspi, handling white, held the eighth-seeded Vietnamese GM Dao Thien Hai to a draw by repetition of moves in the event’s first concluded match.


IM Rolando Nolte and NM Mari Joseph Turqueza, the reigning national junior champion, followed suit by halving the point after 27 moves of a Sicilian.

Top seed GM Zhang Zhong of Singapore was still gunning for a win against Indonesian Fide Master Kasmiran at presstime, while No. 2 seed Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr. was tangling with Asian Under-16 champ Jan Emmanuel Garcia who, incidentally, completed his IM requirements in the Asian Youth Championships held in Subic lastweek.

Also still uncompleted were thematches pitting third-seeded Vietnamese GM Cao Sang with Indonesian FM Anjas Novita, sixth-seeded Indonesian GM Susanto Megaranto with Mongolia’s Myagmarsuen Gunbayar, No. 7 GM Darwin Laylo with FM Jony Habla, IM Oliver Barbosa with Mongolia’s Urtnasan, and GMEugene Torre withFMHaridas Pascua.

Also being contested is a berth to theWomen’s World Championship. The distaff event drew 36 players, including top seed Singaporean IM Li Ruofan, wife of Zhang.

Present during the brief opening ceremonies were Tolentino, NCFP president Prospero “Butch” Pichay, Vietnam Chess Federation president Dang That Tang, Asian Chess Federation deputy vice president Casto “Toti” Abundo, NCFP director Judge Gonzalo Mapile and Asia’s first IM Rodolfo Tan Cardoso.

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TAGS: Asian Zonal Chess Championships, Chess, John Paul Gomez, Mari Joseph Turqueza, Mark Paragua, Rolando Nolte, Sports

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