09 June 2011

Chess: Laylo captures Pichay Cup title in Subic

SUBIC, June 9 (PNA) -- Mission accomplished for Filipino Grandmaster Darwin Laylo.

Laylo settled for a quick grandmaster’s draw with GM Wen Yan of China to capture the title in the 2011 Chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay Cup international chess championships at the Subic Bay Travelers Hotel here Wednesday.

The draw with the white-playing but overly-cautious Wen came after only 31 moves of the Slav and less than two hours of play, but it was more than enough to clinch the title for Laylo.

The 31-year-old campaigner from Lipa City actually finished in a three-way tie for first place with Wen and GM Li Shilong of China with similar scores of 7.5 points in this prestigious 10-round competition organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP).

Laylo, however, clinched the title by virtue of a higher tiebreak score over the two Chinese players.

The three pocketed US$ 4,333 each out of the guaranteed cash prize of US$ 30,000 put up by Pichay.

“Thank God. Masayang-masaya ako dahil nanalo na din ako at nakabawi na sa masamang nangyari sa akin nung Asian Zonals sa Tagaytay,” said Laylo, referring to his monumental collapse in the Asian Zone 3.3 championships held in Tagaytay City last May 24 to 31.

Actually, Laylo flirted with disaster anew when he lost to Li in their ninth and penultimate round encounter and yielded the solo lead late Tuesday.

After drawing with Wen in the final round, Laylo agonized for nearly two hours waiting for the outcome of the match between Li and GM David Arutinian of Georgia on second board.

But Li failed to translate a slim endgame advantage in a must-win game against the higher-rated and more-experienced Arutinian and halved the point to tie for first place with Laylo and Wen.

Laylo’s smashing triumph enabled him to become only the second Filipino player to win a major international chess championship in Subic after GM Jayson Gonzales achieved the feat in 2008.

Gonzales, who now serves as tournament director, made history by ruling the Subic Open chess championship in May 2008.

GM John Paul Gomez battled Lu Shanglei of China to another draw in 34 moves of the Dutch opening to finish in a tie for fourth to 10th places with six other foreign players with seven points.

Gomez, who moved into contention by beating Asian Youth gold medalist Jan Emmanuel Garcia in the ninth round, earned US$ 1,214 for his effort.

Tied with Gomez are Lu, Arutinian, Ma Qun of China, GM XuJun of China, GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia and Xie Deshum of China.

Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre outclassed IM Yves Ranola to join GM Mark Paragua, IM Olilver Barbosa and IM Rolando Nolte in a tie for 11th to 18th places with 6.5 points.

Paragua and Barbosa also fought to a draw, while Nolte split the point with top seed GM Merab Gagunashvili of Georgia.

IM Chito Garma humbled GM Cerdas Barus of Indonesia in 54 moves of the Scotch, IM Oliver Dimakiling outlasted Guo Qi of China and IM Richard Bitoon bested IM Kim Steven Yap in an all-Filipino showdown to lead a big group of players with six points.

WFM Zhansaya Abdumalik of Kazakhstan, one of the youngest participants here at age 11, outlasted NM Efren Bagamasbad in 88 moves of the Philidor’s opening in one of the most keenly-watched games in the tournament.

Garcia, who vaulted into prominence by earning his IM title outright during the Asian Zonals, dropped his second straight game to Yu Ruiyuan of China and plummeted into a tie for 27th to 33rd places with only 5.5 points.

In other notable final-round results, Alex Milagrosa crushed Ben Polao; reigning national junior champion Mari Joseph Turqueza halved the point with FM Haridas Pascua, Paulo Bersamina split the point with Roger Sarip, Emmanuel Emperado drew with Randy Segarra, Leo Alidani downed Felica Trenseco, Kristine Mae Mariano beat Ferdinan Tesman of Indonesia, and Danrev Garcia subdued Daniel John Lemi.

IA Gene Poliarco served as the chief arbiter. (PNA)

Final standings: (Filipinos unless stated)

7.5 points – D. Laylo, Y. Wen (China), S. Li (China)

7 -- S. Lu (China), D. Arutinian (Georgia), Q. Ma (China), J. Xu (China), J. Gomez, S. Megaranto (Indonesia), D. Xiu (China)

6.5 -- Z. Zhang (Singapore), M. Gagunashvili (Georgia), M. Paragua, E. Torre, C. Wang (China), O. Barbosa, R. Nolte, R. Yu (China)

6 – R. Bitoon, O. Dimakiling, C. Zeng (China), A. Datu, A. Novitas (Indonesia), T. Purnama (Indonesia), C. Garma, J. Wang (China).