FILIPINO Grandmaster Oliver Barbosa (Elo 2572) toppled UAE's Fide Master Alkhoori Ibraheem Hohamed Ahmed (Elo 2336) to lead the march of early winners at the start of 4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games 2013 Men Classical Chess in Incheon, Korea on Sunday.
With the win, the Taytay, Rizal native Barabosa, fourth seeded in this World Chess Federation (FIDE) sanctioned event goes up against Vietnamese International Master Nguyen Duc Hoa (Elo 2493) in the second round, who brought downed Macau's Li Hui (Elo 1947) .
However, another Filipino entry 6th seed GM Mark Paragua (Elo 2569) ended his game into a fighthing draw against Korea's candidate master Nanjo Ryosuke (Elo 2299). He is schedue to meet Myanmar's Fide Master Kyaw Lin Naing (Elo 2249) in the next round, who held Iranian GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (Elo 2554) into a draw.
Other opening day winners that includes top seed GM Le Quang Liem (Elo 2712) of Vietnam, winner over FM Mohamed Samir (Elo 2362) of Syria; second seed GM Ding Liren (Elo 2702) of China; who beat IM Al-Zandani Zendan Ali Nasser (Elo 2360) of Yemen; third seed GM Yu Yangyi (Elo 2675) of China, who subdued IM Othman Mohammed Gamil Abdulsal (Elo 2239) of Yemen and 7th seed GM Sethuraman Panayappan Sethuram (Elo 2560) of India, who routed FM Oo Zaw (Elo 2258) of Myanmar.
In the distaff side, Woman International Master Catherine Perena (Elo 2180) and WIM elect Janelle Mae Frayna (Elo 2096) defeated their first round assignments. Perena from San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan nipped WIM Methmani Nelunika (Elo 1603) of Sri Lanka while Frayna from Legaspi City, Albay crushed unrated Ahmed Nihaya of Maldives. In the secound round, the 15th seed Perena will meet 4th seed IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen (Elo 2397) of Vietnam while the 19th seed Frayna will face 8th seed WIM Khademalsharieh Sarasadat (Elo 2315) of Iran.
Tournament favorite and World's Girls No.1 player 19-year-old GM Hou Yifan (Elo 2595) of China also won her opening match against Bayarjargal Bayarmaa (Elo 2055) of Mongolia.
National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president and chairman Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr. and secretary-general Cavite 7th district Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino Jr. tapped Asia's first GM Eugene Torre and NCFP executive director GM Jayson Gonzales to be the coaches of the Philippine Team that includes GM John Paul Gomez and WIM Bernadette Galas.
Delegation Head is NCFP deputy secretary-general Red Dumuk. Paragua and Barbosa will join compatriot GM Wesley So in the 2013 World Chess Cup in Tromso, Norway from August 10 to September 5. So is fresh from winning this year's National Open Championship dubbed as Las Vegas International Chess Festival 2013 held at the Riviera Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
The country's campaign in the tournament is supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).