Grandmaster Richard Bitoon captured the title via tie-break after the final round in the open division of the 2015 Battle of the Grandmasters-National Chess Championships held at the PSC National Athletes’ Dining Hall inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, Pablo Ocampo Sr. St., Malate, Manila.
GM Bitoon drew with International Master Haridas Pascua in 30 moves of a King’s Indian Attack and topped the tournament with 14 points in 10 games of play. Grandmaster Joey Antonio actually tied with Bitoon but lost on the Sonnenborn-Berger tie-break and settled for second.
Antonio outplayed National Master Jerad Docena in 73 moves of a Caro-Kann. IM Pascua is third. Uneventful draws in the open division marked the end of the tournament with the following final ranking registered:4th GM Eugene Torre, 5th GM Darwin Laylo, 6th GM John Paul Gomez, 7th FM Mari Joseph Turqueza, 8th NM Docena, 9th IM Paulo Bersamina who drew with National Master Roel Abelgas in 62 moves of a Caro-Kann, 10th NM Abelgas and 11th WIM Janelle Mae Frayna.
In the Women’s Division, Woman International Master Jan Jodilyn Fronda of La Salle, drew with Woman FIDE Master Marie Antoinette San Diego in a London System to bagged the title as erstwhile leader and defending champion Catherine Pereńa-Secopito lost to unheralded Brena Mae Membrere in 60 moves of a Slav Defense. Fronda edged Pereńa-Secopito out by a mere half a point, the one that she gained in the stalement she obtained in the penultimate round.
San Diego is in third place followed by Woman International Master Mikee Charlene Suede in 4th with 10 points, the same output of 5th placer Woman National Master Jean Karen Enriquez but who lost to Suede in the fifth round.
Other results: Woman NM Christy Lamiel Bernales lost to WNM Enriquez in 48 moves of a Scandinavian/Center Counter Defense, Arvie Lozano of UP defeated WFM Shania Mae Mendoza in 173 moves of a Nimzowitsch/Ponziani Opening and WIM Suede drew with Judith Pineda in 22 moves of a French Defense game.
The rest of the standing are: 6th WNM Bernales, 7th Lozano, 8th Membrere, 9th WFM Mendoza and 10th Pineda.
The tournament is being organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and supported financially by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) in cooperation with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
The next projects of the NCFP are two International Tournaments to be held 8-22 November 2015 at the Subic Peninsular Hotel in SBMA, Olongapo City: the Philippine International Chess Championship and the PSC/Puregold International Chess Challenge.