19 November 2015

Savchenko grabs solo lead; Laylo top Pinoy contender in Subic chess challenge

RUSSIAN Grandmaster Boris Savchenko put a brake to Ukraine GM Vitaly Sivuk’s five-game winning run, hacking out a 35-move win using an unusual line of the Queen’s Pawn Game to vault into the solo lead after four rounds in the Philippine Sports Commission-Puregold International Chess Challenge at the Peninsular Hotel in Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

The No. 8 seed Savchenko earlier defeated reigning national champion GM Richard Bitoon in the third round to set up the clash against the newly-minted Philippine International Chess Championship titlist.

Filipino GM Darwin Laylo, meanwhile, stayed a half-point behind the solo leader with 3.5 points with a win and a draw in the two previous rounds.

The 18th seed Laylo downed International Master Oliver Dimakiling in the third round and split the point with Torre in the fourth.

The draw dropped Torre to 3.0 points in the company of fellow Pinoys IM Joel Pimentel and Dimakiling, Sivuk, Russian GMs Mikhail Mozharov and Anton Demchenko, GM Shanglei Lu of China and GM Chakkravarthy Deepan of India.

Mozharov, the no. 7 seed, and Pimentel agreed to a draw after 57 moves of a King’s Indian Fianchetto, Demchenko defeated GM Tigran Kotanjian of Armernia in 42 pushes of a King’s Indian Classical, Lu dealt Bitoon his second straight loss, while Deepan trounced Filipino IM Emmanuel Senador in 54 moves of a Sicilian Moria Gambit.

Trailing behind with 2.5 points are Kotanjian, IM Abhimanyu Puranik and GM Narayanan Sunilduth Lyna of India, GM Chen Lin of China and GM Duc Hoa Nguyen of Vietnam.

In the Challenger Division of the tournament organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines and supported by the PSC, Philippine Olympic Committee, Puregold, Burlington Socks and Marc Ventures and Mining and Development Corp., eight players, led by top seed Franz Robert Grafil, share the lead with three points each after three rounds.

Also in the Challenger Division, nine-year-old Mark Jay Bacojo upset sixth-seed Samson Lim Jr. in huge upset at the first round.

Bacojo, from Pasig, i the youngest competitor is outranked by the veteran Lim by at least 600 Elo rating points. (People's Tonight)

SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia (sitting left) poses with Russian GM  Anton Demchenko at the opening of the Philippine Sports Commission-Puregold International Chess Challenge in Subic Bay along with other world-class chess masters. (People's Tonight)