CHESSERS BAG 2ND GOLD IN MEN'S RAPID

HO CHI MINH, December 8, 2003  (STAR) By Nelson Beltran (Via Globe Telecom) — The Philippine chess team produced another gold as it stamped its class in the 22nd SEA Games men’s rapid chess team tournament at the Van Don Hall here.

The Filipino masters mastered their young Vietnamese counterparts in the deciding blitz matches, 3-1, earning a second gold following GM-candidate Mark Paragua’s title conquest in the rapid individual.

The finalists needed to decide their duel on blitz matches as they split their games in the rapid.

GM Bong Villamayor topped Nguyen Anh Dung on Board 2, Paragua defeated Tu Hoang Thong on Board 3 and GM Eugene Torre beat Pham Minh Hoang on Board 4. GM Rogelio Antonio was beaten by Dao Thien Hai on the top board.

In the rapid game, Villamayor won over Tu while Antonio and Paragua drew with Nguyen and Pham, respectively. Torre bowed to Dao.

The talent-laden but feuding RP team breezed through to the gold-medal game past Malaysia, 3.5-.5, in Round 1, Indonesia, 3.5-.5, in Round 2, Thailand, 4-0, in Round 3 and the Chinese-reinforced Singapore team, 3-1, in the cross-over semifinals.

The RP team’s top four players and fifth man Jayson Gonzales all dished out remarkable performances, yielding only a total of five points in six rounds.

Paragua, his skills in rapid and blitz honed up by his exposure in several European tourneys, was the topscorer with 5.5 points on five wins and one draw.

Villamayor was next with five points on five victories then Antonio with 4.5 points on four wins and one draw, Torre with three points on two wins and two draws and Gonzales with one point on his lone match versus Thailand.

The RP women’s team failed to break into the magic three.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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