PH begins campaign in International Open Chess

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Grandmasters (GM) Dawin Laylo and Joey Antonio will spearhead the country’s campaign in the 2017 International Open Chess Championship beginning today at the Osborne Hall in Bacolod City.

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Laylo is seeded eighth while Antonio is ranked ninth in the nine-round tournament

Also seeing action are International Masters (IM) Oliver Dimakiling, Ronald Dableo, Kim Steven Yap and Chito Garma as well as Woman IMs Jan Jodilyn Fronda and Marie Antoinette San Diego.

Great Britain’s GM Nigel Short is the top seed player followed by GM Karen Grigoryan of Armenia, GM Tran Tuan Minh of Vietnam and former World Under 12 champion GM Srinath Narayanan of India.

The other notable players in the field are Vietnamese GM Nguyen Duc Hoa and IM Tran Minh Thang, and Jagadeesh Siddharth of Singapore.

In the first round, Laylo takes on compatriot Rolzon Roullo, Antonio battles Siddharth, Nigel goes up against Fronda, Minh tackles Filipino Xavier John Verdun, Grigoryan faces Filipino John Marvin Miciano while Narayanan meets Filipino Rey Jomar Magallanes.

The tournament offers $3,000 to the champion, $2,500 to the runner-up, $2,000 to the third placer, $1,5000 to the fourth placer and $1,000 to the fifth placer.

Meanwhile, Alvin Alcala bagged the runner-up honors in the Riyadh International Chess Championship held in Saudi Arabia.

Alcala was in the five-way tie on top with compatriot Aldrin Gallardo, Egypt’s Abdel Rahman Ahmed and Helal Moustafa and Jordan’s Sam Houri with six points each.

But Ahmed took the top honors because of higher tiebreak points, leaving Alcala in second, Houri in third, Gallardo in fourth and Moustafa in fifth.

Alcala posted six wins in seven games.

He defeated Alanazy Mohammed and Masrahi Abdulrahman in the first two round then lost in the third round against compatriot Ephraim Hechanova.

Alcala bounced back with victories over Medhat Magdy of Egypt (fourth), Saleem Abdulhamid of Syria (fifth), Ahmed Hassan Ahmed of Sudan (sixth) and Rahman Ahmed (seventh).

EMIL C. NOGUERA

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