Standings and complete results will be followed soon.
PARAGUA, DABLEO OFF TO GOOD START; RIVERA HALVED THE POINT WITH GM GONZALES
BY: MARLON BERNARDINO
GM Mark Paragua and GM-elect Ronald Dableo waylaid their respective foes to jump-start their bids in the 4th President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup International Chess Championship Thursday at the Duty Free Fiestamall, Paranaque City.
Paragua, who is fresh from winning the Asian Indoor Games qualifying event two weeks ago blasted journeyman Rainier Labay after 29 moves of King's Indian Defense while Dableo, who clinched his third and final GM norm in the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur, bested unheralded Angel Cordero after 44 moves of French Defense.
" Mali siguro 'yung Queen side castle ni Rainier (Labay) kaya nakalamang ako ng posisyon, saka malakas ang pagkaposte ng knight ko sa d4," said Paragua, the 2003 Vietnam Southeast Asian Games most bemedalled athlete.
" Pero magaling talaga si Rainer at beteranong player na iyan," added the amiable Paragua.
Labay, on his part, "Tama din si Mark (Paragua), puwede din naman akong hindi mag castle sa Queen side,"
Sharing the limelight is reigning RP artists Albert Rivera, who held GM Jayson Gonzales into a draw after 36 moves of London System Opening. "Mahirap pilitin baka matalo pa, s'yempre iba talaga pag grandmaster ang kalaban mo, at least maganda ang simula natin," said Rivera, a businessman in profession.
IM Chito Garma is the first Filipino casualty against their foreign counterpart. The Tondo, Manila born Garma bowed to Georgian GM Merab Gagunashvili after 46 moves of Nimzo-Indian Defense.
After Garma's setback, NM Efren Bagamasbad also yielded to Armenian GM Tigran Kotanjian after 34 moves of King's Indian Defense.
Singaporean GM Wong Meng Kong, meanwhile opened his bid in a bright note after beating Fil-Am Danilo Jorda in just 28 moves of Reti Opening.
International Masters Barlo Nadera and Emmanuel Senador also won their respective matches. The Mandaue, Cebu Nadera outpointed Lyndon Lumancas after 26 moves of Gruenfled Defense while the Iloilo native Senador nipped Ben Polao after 29 moves of Sicilian Defense.
Defending champion Eugene Torre, Asia's First GM, drew his first match to PNP player NM Ali Branzuela.
In other results, NM Haridas Pascua split the point with Viet GM Dao Thien Hai, as well Roel Abelgas halved the point with Cebuano IM Richard Bitoon.