NEW YORK – FIDE Master (FM) Rico Salimbagat emerged champion in the recently concluded 13th Annual Manhattan Open Chess Tournament Under 2300 section at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel.
Salimbagat, a native of Tanauan and now based in Queens, New York, finished undefeated with five wins in the five-round Swiss System format competition to pocket the champion's prize of $1,400.
He defeated Jackson Hueckel, Edgar Cimafranca, Isaac Barayev, James Fu and FM Jon Jacobs, respectively.
Salimbagat has a US Chess Federation rating of 2280.
Former Olympiad player, International Master (IM) Renato Naranja of New Jersey, finished with three points, good for a tie for 13th to 31st place.
Meanwhile, World Chess Federation (FIDE) developmental instructor Dari Castro was tied at first place with Brett Schneider in the Under 1400 section. They tallied identical five points after five rounds of play.
Castro, the liason officer of the Eugene Torre Chess Foundation, defeated Daniel Fridlyand, James E Thierer, Rio Arengo, Max and Simon Gorbaty.
Another Filipino entry Jose dela Cruz of Queens, New York finished 3.5 points in the Under 1700 section.
A native of Burauen, Leyte and founder of the newly-formed Philippine Institute for Chess Excellence, De la Cruz also finished second place in the Under 1550 category.
In the Open division, Grand Master (GM) Alexander Stripunsky scored 4.5 points in five outings to pocket the first prize earning of $1,700.
GM Sergei Azarov and GM Sergey Kudrin shared second to third place with four points each.
GM Mark Paragua led the group of 3.5 pointers that include GM Mikheil Kekelidze, IM Aleksandr Ostrovskiy, GM Michael A Rohde, IM Jay Richard Bonin and Jason Shi.
GM Oliver Barbosa, meanwhile, finished overall 10th place with three points. - Marlon Bernardino