4th Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Individual Standings after round 5: (56 players)
4.5 points--- GM Wong Meng Kong (Singapore)
4.0 points--- IM Richard Bitoon (Philippines), GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (Vietnam), GM Tigran Kotanjian (Armenia)
3.5 points--- GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. (Philippines), GM John Paul Gomez (Philippines), GM Darwin Laylo (Philippines), IM Ronald Dableo (Philippines), GM Anton Filippov (Uzbekistan), GM Mikhael Michedlishvili (Georgia), GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (Philippines), GM Merab Gagunashvili (Georgia), GM Getha Gopal Nayanan (India), GM Dao Thien Hai (Vietnam)
3.0 points--- IM Oliver Dimakiling (Philippines), FM Leonardo Carlos (Philippines), FM Randy Segarra (Philippines), NM Edgar Reggie Olay (Philippines), NM Allan Macala (Philippines), GM Pyotr Kostenko (Kazakhstan), GM Annuar Ismagambetov (Kazakhstan),
2.5 points---GM Eugene Torre (Philippines), GM Mark Paragua (Philippines), GM Buenaventura Villamayor (Philippines), GM Jayson Gonzales (Philippines), IM Chito Garma (Philippines), IM Emmanuel Senador (Philippines), FM David Elorta (Philippines), NM Ric Portagalera (Philippines), NM Ali Branzuela (Philippines), John Ranel Morazo (Philippines), GM Li Shilong (China), GM Das Neelotpal (India), WGM Krutika Nadig (India)
FILIPINO International Master Richard Bitoon (2490) halved the point with Singaporean GM Wong Meng Kong (2403) to fortify his GM title bid in the fifth round of 4th President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup International Chess Championship Sunday night at the Duty Free Fiestamall in Paranaque City.
The Medellin, Cebu native compiled 4.0 points on 3 wins and 2 draws to shared 2nd to 4th placers that includes Vietnamese GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son and Armenian GM Tigran Kotanjian, winner over GMs Annuar Ismagambetov and Pyotr Kostenko, both from Kazakhstan, respectively.
“Ok lamang ang draw para maipreserba ko ang lakas ko sa mga susunod na round,” said the former Southwestern University top player Bitoon, who shocked tournament top seed Georgian Super GM Mikhael Mchedlishvili (2613) in the fourth round after 54 moves of Sicilian defense.
Bitoon, protégé of NM Matias “Bombi” Aznar, will face Kotanjian using the black pieces in sixth round late Monday. Bitoon needed his last GM norm here to complete his GM title status.
Wong Meng Kong, on the other hand remained on top with 4.5 points, including his default win against GM-elect Ronald Dableo in the fourth round.
It can be recalled that six players lost their fourth-round matches via defaults. The players—Dableo, IM Barlo Nadera, NMs Deniel Causo and Ali Branzuela, Albert Rivera, and Conrado Diaz—lodged an appeal with the organizers but their appeal was turned down in the nine round Swiss-system event which is offers $6,000 to the champion in the $40,000 total pot prize event.
Nadera, a resident of Malabon City suffered his second straight lost by default after failing to show up in the fifth round against his match to Davao City NM Allan Macala.
Dableo for his part, he held Vietnamese GM Dao Thien Hai into a draw to remain in contention.
Dableo raise his total 3.5 points, in the company of Dao, GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. (Philippines), GM John Paul Gomez (Philippines), GM Darwin Laylo (Philippines), IM Ronald Dableo (Philippines), GM Anton Filippov (Uzbekistan), GM Mikhael Michedlishvili (Georgia), GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (Philippines), GM Merab Gagunashvili (Georgia), and GM Getha Gopal Nayanan (India).
In other matches, Antonio and Gomez ended their game in a draw, while Filipino GMs Mark Paragua, Bong Villamayor and Jayson Gonzales lost their respective matches against lone super GM entry Mchedlishvili, Gagunashvili and Maghami, in order.
Defending champion and Asia’s First GM Eugene Torre registered his fifth consecutive draw for 2.5 points, this time against FM Leonardo Carlos, head coach of University of the Philippines. MARLON BERNARDINO
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