Manaog rules 2015 Malaysia Open Chess Championship

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Veteran woodpusher Stewart Manaog topped the 2015 Malaysia Open Chess Championship held at the Politknik Muadzam Shah in Malaysia.

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The 53-year-old Manaog collected 7.5 points on six wins and three draws to claim the top honors in the nine-round tournament.

He defeated Malaysians Loo Kian Sing (first round), Cheah Kah Hoe (second round), Ramli Abdul Rahim (third round) and International Master (IM) Mas Hafizulhelmi (fourth round), and compatriots Efren Bagamasbad (sixth round) and Ian Udani (seventh round.

Manaog scored his draws against Filipino IM Haridas Pascua (fifth round), and Malaysians Woman FIDE Master Azman Hisham Nur Najiha (eighth round) and Azman Hisham Mohd Nabil (ninth round).

Pascua bagged the second place trophy with seven points on six wins and two draws while Nur Najiha pocketed the third place honors with the same seven-point output (six wins and two draws).

The 22-year-old Pascua toppled Malaysians Majid Muhd Uthman Fikri, Wahiduddin Nurul Huda, Masrin Erowan, Hafizlhelmi and Mohd Nabil, and Filipino Carlo Lorena then split the point with Manaog and Bagamasbad.

Pascua blew his chances of taking the top spot after absorbing a stunning loss to Nur Najiha in the final round.

Bagamasbad, Udani and Hafizlhelmi were tied in fourth with 6.5 points each.

EMIL C. NOGUERA

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