Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Subic chess: Bitoon keeps bid for Top 5 finish alive

IM Richard Bitoon kept his bid for a Top 5 finish alive as he trounced Lou Yiping of China in a pivotal eighth-round match Saturday in the 2009 Subic Open international chess championship at the Subic Exhibition and Convention Center.

One of several Filipino players seeking the elusive GM titles this year, Bitoon beat the 35th-seeded Chinese opponent with the white pieces to raise his record to 5.5 points and move into a tie for fifth to 13th places.

The 34-year-old graduate of Southwestern University-Cebu will go for the win and a possible Top 5 finish when he meets fifth seed GM Abhijeet Gupta of India in the ninth and final round.

Overall, the Medellin, Cebu-native is only a full point behind pacesetting second seed GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami of Iran and only half a point behind second-running untitled Xie Deshun of China, GM Chanda Sandipan of India and GM Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh.

Maghami, seeded second here with an ELO of 2593, drew with Sandipan.

Xiu humbled GM Negi Parimarjan of India while Rahman halved the point with GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam.

Four other Filipino campaigners – IM Julio Catalino Sadorra, GM Darwin Laylo, GM Mark Paragua and IM Oliver Dimakiling – also stayed within striking distance with five points.

Sadorra drubbed Wang Li of China, Laylo and Paragua drew with each other and Dimakiling outsteadied compatriot Emmanuel Senador.

The four Filipino players are tied for 14th to 21st places with still a full round left.

Defending champion GM Jayson Gonzales settled for a draw with IM Javaram Ashwin of India to remain in a tie for 22nd to 29th places with 4.5 points.

GM Bong Villamayor, IM Rolando Nolte, Efren Bagamasbad, Alex Milagrosa and Senador all have four points. – GMANews.TV

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