Eleventh seed GM Vitaly Sivuk of Ukraine subdued top seed GM Abhijeet Gupta of India to capture the title of the Philippine International Chess Championships held Saturday at the Subic Bay Peninsular Hotel in Olongapo City, Zambales.
GM Sivuk prevailed over Gupta who employed the Gruenfeld Defense but lost in the endgame in 42 moves. Sivuk scored 7/10 enough to bag the title and half a point ahead of the next group of seven players who placed second to eight in the standings: lead by Russian grandmasters GM Anton Demchenko (2nd), GM Anton Shomoev (3rd) and GM Boris Savchenko (4th). Indian players GM Gupta, GM Chakkravarthy Deepan and IM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan followed in 5th, 6th and 7th respectively with GM Lu Shanglei of China in 8th place.
Decisive games were played by GM Savchenko who defeated International Master Lin Chen of China in 36 moves of a Mieses Variation of the Scandinavian Defense and IM Narayanan who stopped our own GM Joey Antonio’s Anti-Nimzo Indian in 31 moves. IM Lin with 6 points ended up in 9th place in company with GM Pavel Smirnov who with lesser tie-break settled for 10th place. Smirnov beat fellow Russian GM Vladimir Belous in a Benko Gambit Accepted in 34 moves.
The highest placed Filipino players are International Master Rolando Nolte and unheralded Jerad Docena who defeated IM Abhimanyu Puranik of India in a grueling 67 moves of a French-KIA that lasted more than four hours. Nolte halved the point with GM Eugene Torre in an Indian Game. Both have 5.5 points, the same output of GMs Alexander Zubov (Ukraine) and Mikhail Mozharov (Russia) who drew their game in 24 moves of the Anglo-Indian Defense/English Opening. After the tie-break GM Zubov placed 11th followed by IM Nolte in 12th, GM Mozharov in 13th and Docena 14th.
The next group with 5 points included GM Belous 15th, GM Nguyen Duc Hoa (Vietnam) 16th, GM Darwin Laylo 17th, GM Joey Antonio 18th, GM Torre 19th, GM Richard Bitoon 20th, IM Paulo Bersamina 21st and GM Tigran Kotanjian (Armenia) 22nd.
In the Challenger section Woman FIDE Master Shania Mae Mendoza bested Lennon Hart Salgados in the tie-break to bag the title. WFM Mendoza defeated Christopher Diaz in 33 moves of a Nimzowitsch Defense while Salgados drew his game with Paul Robert Evangelista in a Slav Defense, Exchange variation.
The second tournament, PSC/PUREGOLD International Chess Challenge reels off tomorrow, Monday, November 16 at the same venue. It is organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) headed by its officers: Chairman and President Prospero ‘Butch’ Pichay, Jr., Secretary General Congressman Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino and Grassroots Promotion Chairman Congressman Neri Javier Colmenares. It is financially supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) headed by its Chairman, the Honorable Ricardo R. Garcia and in cooperation with the Philippine Olympic Committee headed by its President, the Honorable Jose S. Cojuangco, Jr.
Some of the major sponsors beside the PSC are Puregold, Asia United Bank (AUB), Burlington the Socks Authority, Marc Ventures Holdings, Inc. and Marc Ventures Mining and Development Corporation.