Gomez scores back-to-back wins; Frayna remains on top in the Battle of the Grandmasters

By Lily O. Ramos

MANILA, (PNA)– Grandmaster John Paul Gomez scored back-to-back wins in the 2013 Battle of the Grandmaster Chess Championships at the Philippine Sports Commission Conference Room, Administration Bldg., Vito Cruz, Manila.

The 27-year old Gomez’s latest victory was against International Master Joel Pimentel late Thursday via 35 moves of Sicilian defense using the advantageous white pieces in Round 7 for a total of 19.5 points on six wins and draw.

”I hope to hold on to my momentum,” said Gomez who earlier brought down National Master Narquinden Reyes in the sixth round using the Torre-Pichay scoring system formulated by Torre and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay, Jr.

A win is equivalent to three points, a draw is 1.5 points, a loss is zero, and a stalemate is 2.0 for the last player to make a move and 1.0 to the player who can no longer make a move.

Meanwhile, overnight solo second place 12-time National Open champion GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr. is still second with 16.0 points after beating FIDE Master Jony Habla in the sixth round and drawing with defending champion GM Mark Paragua in the seventh round after 31 moves of Modern Benoni defense.

“Our game was pretty tough so a draw was sufficient,” said Antonio, former top player of University of Manila and mainstay of Philippine Army chess team.

Third is GM Oliver Barbosa with 15.0 points. The Taytay, Rizal resident beat GM Richard Bitoon and IM Richilieu Salcedo III, respectively.

Other matches saw, GM Darwin Laylo defeated US based GM Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla in the sixth round then nipped IM Emmanuel Senador in the seventh round; GM Eugene Torre lost to Pimentel in the sixth round then drew with Barcenilla in the seventh round while FM Roderick Nava yielded to Senador in the sixth round then upset GM Richard Bitoon in the seventh round.

Habla, meantime split the point with Reyes in the seventh round after losing to Antonio in the sixth round.

In the women’s play, Woman International Master Janelle Mae Frayna toppled Woman Fide Master Rulp Ylem Jose in the sixth round then split the point with WIM Beverly Mendoza in the seventh round to remain on top with 18.0 points.

Mendoza, on the other hand still at solo second place with 16.5 points.

Last year’s champion WIM Catherine Perena occupied solo third place position with 15.0 points. The University of the Philippines-Diliman campus coach routed Lucelle Bermundo in the 6th round and Ynna Sophia Canape in the seventh round.

The tournament is being organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), headed by chairman/president Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr. and secretary-general Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino Jr. and supported by the Philippine Sports Commisison (PSC),headed by chairman Ricardo “Richie” Garcia and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco.

NCFP executive director GM Jayson Gonzales is the tournament director, while IA Gene Poliarco is the chief arbiter.