BY: MARLON BERNARDINO
FILIPINO GRANDMASTER MARK CALLANO PARAGUA continued his winning streak in the US as he emerged over-all champion in the recently held New York June Action at the Chess Center of famous Marshall Chess Club in New York, USA on Saturday (Friday night in US time).
Paragua, the 1998 Disneyland, France World Rapid Under 14-champion bested American International Master (IM) Jay Bonin in the fourth round then proceed to a draw with Russian International Master (IM) Ildar Salakhutdinov in the fifth and final round to secure the over-all win.
The 2003 Vietnam Southeast Asian Games most bemedalled athlete Paragua, who beat Isaac Barayev, Vladimir Polyakin and Leif Pressman in the first three rounds finished with unbeaten 4.5 points on account of four wins and a draw in five outings.
Paragua,whose stint here is being supported by National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/ chairman Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr., Filway Marketings Inc. CEO/ President Hector "Chito" O. Tagaysay and New York Immigration lawyer Geronimo "Gerry' Albano is currently preparing for the 38th Annual World Open Chess Championships slated on June 29 to July 5 at the Valley Forge Convention Plaza, Scanticon and Radisson Hotels in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA, which offers projected prize fund of $250,000 with $175,000 minimum guaranteed purse in the week-long event organized by Continental Chess Association (CCA) husband and wife tandem Mr. and Mrs.Bill and Brenda Goichberg.
Another Filipino entry (here in Marshall Chess Club) International Master (IM) Renato Naranja wound up into a tie for 14th to 25th placers in the huge group of 2.5 pointers in the 38 player's field.
The New Jersey-based Naranja, the 1958 Philippine Junior Champion, the 1965 Philippine Adult Champion and 1969 Singapore Asian Zonal Champion lost to American Michael Hehir in the final round here in Marshall Chess Club.
It was Mark Paragua's eleventh straight title in the United States following his triumphs in the 10 Grand Prix Points Tonight (June 3), New York May Open (May 29 to 30), Original 4 rated Games Tonight (May 27 ), Prove Your Point (May 22), May Marshall Masters (May 18), Marshall Sunday Action (May 9), Marshall Chess Challenge , Saturday Game 60 ( May 5), Marshall Chess Challenge April Grand Prix (April 24 to 25), Original 4 rated Games Tonight ( April 15) and Original 4 rated Games Tonight (April8).
It was Mark Paragua's first US tournament this year was the tough and prestigious Philadelphia Open Chess Championships last March 31 to April 4 which topped by former World Championships candidate American GM and Russian-born Gata Kamsky.Kamsky finished with 7 points, the same output of Grandmasters (GMs) Alexander Stripunsky, Ray Robson and Sergey Kudrin.
Paragua finished with 6.5 points in the company of GMs Jaan Ehlvest, Alexander Shabalov, Alexander Ivanov, Amon Solomon Simotuwe and IM Robert Andrew Hungaski.
Manila frequent-visitor American GM Varuzhan Akobian wound up into a tie for 11th to 20th placers along with Chicago-based Pinoy IM Angelo Young with 6 points each.
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