MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Grand Master (GM) Oliver Barbosa concluded a successful run in Vietnam as he finished in fifth place overall at the 11th Asian Continental Individual Chess Championships last Sunday at the First Hote, Tan Binh in Ho Chi Minh City.
Barbosa finished with six points, but finished in fifth place by having the superior tie break points over fellow six-pointers, including sixth placer GM Ding Liren and seventh placer GM Ni Hua of China, eighth placer GM Wesley So of the Philippines, ninth placer GM Wen Yang and 10th placer GM Lu Shanglei of China.
Also with six points is fourth placer International Master (IM) Liu Qingnan of China.
All of them received US$2,028 after sharing the US$14,200 total prize for the fourth to 10th placers.
The top five players in the tournament, including Barbosa, booked a seat in next year’s World Chess Cup, an integral part of the World Championship Cycle.
Meanwhile, GM Parimarjan Negi of India defeated fellow seven-pointer GM Yu Yangyi of China in tie-break points to win the coveted title.
The duo split the combined prize of US$11,000.
GM Saleh A R Salem of the United Arab Emirates scored 6.5 points and finished in solo third place to receive US$4,000.
"This is another big achievement in chess. GM Oliver has the chance to show off his mettle, a baptism of fire, so to speak, in the World Chess Cup," said GM Jayson Gonzales, the executive director of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP).
"GM Barbosa is one of the most talented players here in the Philippines and I wish him good luck in the world chess campaign," added GM-elect Ronald Dableo, the 2003 Vietnam 3.2a Zonal Championship winner and World Chess Championships veteran campaigner.
Other Filipino woodpushers who participated in the said Asian chess meet were: GM John Paul Gomez (5.5 points, 12th place); GM Mark Paragua (4.5 points, 36th place); GM Darwin Laylo (4.0 points, 46th place); IM Jan Emmanuel arcia (4.0 points, 51st place); and GM Eugene Torre (4.0 points, 53rd place).
GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. decided to withdraw in the third round of the nine-round, Swiss System tournament. He finished in 72nd place with 0.5 point.
Woman GM Irine Kharisma Sukandar of Indonesia tallied 7.0 points to emerge as the overall champion in the women's category, receiving US$3,000 and earning a ticket for the Women's World Championship.
The Philippine chess team's campaign in the 11th Asian Continental Individual Chess Championships is backed by the NCFP, headed by its chairman and president Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr., the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Commitee. By Marlon Bernardino