FILIPINO Grandmaster Julio Catalino Sadorra, Mark Paragua, John Paul Gomez and Richard Bitoon got off to a blazing start by posting victories in the first round of the Manny Pacquiao Cup Asian Continental Chess Championship at the Midas Hotel and Casino in Roxas Blvd., Pasay City on Saturday.
Sadorra toppled countryman FM Hamed Nouri; Paragua routed compatriot IM Emmanuel Senador; Gomez subdued IM Jimmy Liew of Malaysia and Bitoon waylaid another Pinoy entry Adelardo Pagente.
"Maganda laban namin ni (Hamed) Nouri at buti pamilyar ako sa laro," said Sadorra, a senior year Business Administration focus on Entrepreneurship student at Jindal School of Management (JSOM) in University of Texas Dallas who needed 31 moves to beat Nouri in their London System skirmish.
Sharing the limelight are Fide Master Mari Joseph Turqueza and Emmanuel Emperado, who also beat their respective opponents.
Turqueza shocked GM Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam while Emperado upset GM Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa of Mongolia.
IM Chito Garma drew with GM Susanto Megaranto as well IM Barlo Nadera split the point with GM Krishnan Sasikiran of India.
Meanwhile, top seed GM Le Quang Liem of Vietnam nipped FM Tran Tuan Minh also from Vietnam and second seed GM Li Chao of China outclassed Ganesan Akash of India.
The tournament is held under the auspices of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines headed by it's Chairman/President Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr., Asian Chess Federation and FIDE, and organized by the Eugene Torre Chess Foundation. The event is supported by Cafe Puro, Alaxan, Oriental and Motolite.