Unheralded Filipino chess master Dino Ballecer scored 7.5 points in nine rounds, good enough to win the gold medal in the 2016 Thomson Cup blitz competition held at the Thomson Community Club Hall in Singapore.
Ballecer posted victories over Singapore’s Hee Wei Yang (first round), Jimmy Ng (third), FIDE Master (FM) Jarred Neubronner (fourth) and Heng Zheng Kai (sixth), and compatriots Mark Mangubat (second), Leonardo Alidani (fifth) and Valiente Salinas (ninth).
He split the point with International Master Pacencia Enrique Rivas of Singapore in the seventh round and lost to Filipino Edgard Reggie Olay in the eighth round.
Neubronner and Olay finished in the two-way tie for second but the Singaporean officially took the silver via superior tiebreak points leaving the latter in third place.
In rapid, Stewart Manaog bagged the bronze medal after finishing with seven points on seven wins and two losses.
Manaog defeated India’s Saravanan Durga in the first round, and Singapore’s Ethan Poh Xuan Rui in second, Koh Ming Yao Gavin in third, Ethan Goh in fourth, Tan Jun Hao in fifth, Sean Christian Goh in ninth and Neubronner in sixth but succumbed to Rivas in seventh and Emannuelle Mei En in eighth.
Singapore dominated the event with Neubronner and Rivas ending up in 1-2 with the same eight-point output.
EMIL C. NOGUERA