MANILA, (PNA)– Philippine National Master Nelson Villanueva on late Tuesday accumulated seven points for a joint second place place with Spain’s International Master Marcos Llaneza Vega and Singapore’s Grandmaster Wong Meng Kong behind champion Li Bo of China (7.5 points) at the Hongkong International Open Chess Championships 2013 at the Convocation Room, Main Building room 218, The University of Hongkong, Pok Fu Lam Road, Hongkong.
There was tension in the ninth and final round Tuesday evening as five players were in within the distance of clinching the coveted trophy but overnight leader Llaneza Vega, who had a cushion of a half point lead over the others, suffered a heart-breaking loss to GM Wong; thus allowing Li to snare the title with an emphatic win over colleague Zhang Xiaopeng.
Villanueva who hails from Bacolod City edged compatriot FIDE Master Hamed Nouri for second place in the 69 players’ field from the Philippines, China, Spain, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Chinese-Taipei, Republic of South Africa, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, Macau, Nepal and Hongkong.
Last month, Villanueva landed a strong runner-up finish in the Sabah Grande Chess Open 2013 held in Sabah, Malaysia captured by Filipino IM Oliver Dimakiling of Davao City.
National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) vice-president and grassroots development head Atty. Neri Javier Colmenares is elated over the Filipinos’ victories which landed them in the list of Top 10
“We congratulate our chess team for its impressive performance.” said Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares himself is a chess champion from Western Visayas, having placed second in the 1976 Palarong Pambansa.
The world’s youngest FIDE Master, seven-year old Alekhine Nouri of the Philippines drew Mark Law of Hongkong to raise his total to 4.0 points for an overall 40th place finish.
The Filipino campaign in Hongkong was supported by Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares, Senator Koko Pimentel, National Chess Federation of the Philippines Chairman/President Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr. and Secretary-General Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino Jr., FEU Fern College of Quezon City, Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee.
The final Standings: (69 participants, 9-round Swiss system): 7.5 points-Li Bo (China); 7.0 points;IM Marcos Llaneza Vega (Spain), GM Wong Meng Kong (Singapore), NM Nelson Villanueva (Philippines);6.5 points-NM Roel Abelgas (Philippines); NM Deniel Causo (Philippines),6.0 points-Mohammad Agus Kurniawan (Indonesia); Zhang Xiaopeng (China), Aris T.L.S. (Indonesia);5.5 points-FM Hamed Nouri (Philippines), Robin Lai (Hongkong); FM Yu Kaifeng (China); Koji Nagochi (Japan); Hendry Jamals (Indonesia); WFM Marie Antoinette San Diego (Philippines); Liao Yu Hao (China); Alberto Muniz Pardino (Hongkong); Robert Michael Yang (Hongkong); FM Luk Luen-Wah (Hongkong)