MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Grandmasters (GMs) Oliver Barbosa and Mark Paragua got off to a blazing start by posting victories in the opening round of the DYTM Raja Nazrin Shah International Open Chess Championship dubbed as KL Open Chess on Tuesday at the Olympic Sports Hotel in Malaysia.
Barbosa of Taytay, Rizal defeated Steven O' Reilly of Australia after 42 moves of Dutch defense, while the Bulacan ace Paragua subdued K. Chakravarthi of India after 43 moves of Sicilian defense.
“The first round is one of the toughest rounds in any tournament. It usually sets the tone of how you’re going to perform,” said the defending champion and second-seed Barbosa.
"We hope to perform well in this event and gain some ElO rating points," fourth-seed Paragua said for his part.
GM-elect Ronald Dableo and GM hopefuls International Masters Oliver Dimakiling and Rolando Nolte also opened with wins.
Dableo scalped Siavosh Vojdani of Iran after 35 moves of English Opening, while Dimakiling outplayed reigning Malaysian senior champion Lim Kian Hwa in their Sicilian Defense encounter.
Nolte outmaneuvered Mikgail Kok of Malaysia after just 21 moves of Sicilian.
The tournament organized by Polgar Chess Asia for Kuala Lumpur Chess Association is supported by the Malaysian Chess Federation and sponsored by Masterskill Education Group. – By Marlon Bernardino