Gomez leads in Battle of Grandmasters; Antonio in 2nd place

By Lily O. Ramos

MANILA, (PNA)– Grandmaster John Paul Gomez late Monday night beat GM Richard Bitoon in 35 moves of Old Indian defense to remain unbeaten in the third round of the 2013 Battle of the Grandmasters Chess Championships at the Philippine Sports Commission Conference Room in Manila.

Meantime, 12-time National Open champion GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr. drubbed IM Joel Pimentel using 39 moves of Nimzo-Indian defense for solo second place with two wins and a draw in the tourney organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines in close cooperation with the Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee.

IM Emmanuel Senador drew Asia’s First GM Eugene Torre in the opening round but lost by default over GM Gomez in the second round, rebounded with emphatic wins over Fide Master Jony Habla after 34 moves of Catalan Opening.

US- based GM Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla Jr. scored his third straight draw this time with National Master Narquinden Reyes after 30 moves of King’s Indian defense.

Other third round matches saw, GM Torre split the point with IM Richilieu Salcedo III after 49 moves of Old Indian defense, GM Darwin Laylo halved the point with last year’s champion GM Mark Paragua in 57 moves of Sicilian defense and GM Oliver Barbosa settled for a truce with FM Roderick Nava with 56 moves of Queen’s Pawn Game.

In the distaff side,(WIMs) Janelle Mae Frayna and Beverly Mendoza continued their winning run to three to share the lead.

Frayna, top player of Far Eastern University toppled Woman Fide Master (WFM) Shania Mae Mendoza in 45 moves of English Opening while WIM Mendoza routed Lucelle Bermundo after 39 moves of Dutch defense.

More winnersare defending champion WIM Catherine Perena who dealt WFM Rulp Ylem Jose after 46 moves of Old Indian defense; WFM Cherry Ann Mejia who edged Gladys Hazelle Romero after 63 moves of Queens Gambit Accepted, Ynna Sophia Canape who upset WNM Jedara Docena after 47 moves of Kings Indian defense and Jean Karen Enriquez, winner over WIM Master Bernadette Galas after 42 moves of French defense.

The game between Villa Mae Cabrera (who replaced WNM Jan Jodilyn Fronda) and Arvie Lozano ended to a fighting draw after 59 moves of Modern defense.