Asian Con­ti­nen­tal Chess up to­mor­row

The Philippine Star - - SPORTS -

Grand­mas­ters John Paul Gomez, Dar­win Laylo and Joey An­to­nio and a slew of up-and-com­ing In­ter­na­tional Masters will spear­head the coun­try’s cam­paign when the 17th Asian Con­ti­nen­tal Chess Cham­pi­onships (2nd Manny Pac­quiao Cup) un­folds to­mor­row at the Tiara Ho­tel in Makati.

Gomez, Laylo and An­to­nio, who are all Olympiad vet­er­ans, will be the coun­try’s best hopes for a bet­ter fin­ish along with IMs Jan Em­manuel Gar­cia, Hari­das Pas­cua and Paulo Ber­sam­ina in this nine-round tour­na­ment sanc­tioned by the Na­tional Chess Fed­er­a­tion of the Philip­pines headed by Butch Pichay and fi­nanced by Sen. Manny Pac­quiao and the Phl Sports Com­mis­sion.

The for­eign chal­lenge will be ban­nered by Chi­nese su­per Grand­mas­ters Wang Hao and Wei Yi, who will be the top two seeds with rat­ings of 2730 and 2728, re­spec­tively, in the event that will be par­tic­i­pated in by about 100 en­trants from 16 coun­tries.

Other strong chessers see­ing ac­tion are Ira­nian GM Parham Magh­sood­loo (2689), In­di­ans GM Baskaran Ad­hiban (2682) and GM S. P. Sethu­ra­man (2664) and Chi­nese GM Ni Hua (2683).

An out­right GM ti­tle and norms will be given au­to­mat­i­cally to the cham­pion and $10,000.

WGM Janelle Mae Frayna, the coun­try’s high­est-ranked woman player with a cur­rent rat­ing of 2228, is the coun­try’s best bet in the women’s side, which will have an equally strong field led by China’s WGM Guo Qi and WGM Wang Jue and In­dia’s WGM Pad­mini Ruot.

Guo, who has high­est rat­ing of 2368, is a for­mer team and in­di­vid­ual sil­ver medal win­ner in the 2014 World Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Nor­way while Wang and Ruot are rated 2367 and 2341, re­spec­tively.

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