GM Li Shilong wins the 4th Pichay Cup

Iuldachev, Zhang and Ghaemmaghami share second

By Ed Andaya

World Chess Olympiad-bound GMs Wesley So and Buenaventura “Bong”
Villamayor settled for a truce with their respective foreign rivals to
finish in a tie for fifth to seventh places at the end of the fourth
Prospero Pichay Cup international chess tournament at the Duty Free
Fiesta Mall in Paranaque City.

So, who is set to spearhead the Filipinos’ campaign in the
coming World Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany on Nov. 12-25, agreed
to a draw with second seed GM Zhang Zhong of Singapore after only nine
moves of the Ruy Lopez to finish with six points on four wins, four
draws and only one loss.

And Vilamayor, whose successful comeback early this year
enabled him to clinch one of five slots to the Dresden-bound national
team, split the point with the higher-rated GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili
of Georgia in 35 moves of the Gruenfeld to duplicate So’s nine-round
output of six points on five wins, two draws and two losses.

So, Villamayor and Mchedlishvili finished one and a half
points behind solo champion GM Li Shilong of China (7.5 points) and
one point behind GM Saidali Iuldachev of Uzbekistan, Zhang, and GM
Ehsan Ghaemaghami of Iran (seven points).

Li (ELO 2503) defeated Konstantin Shanava of Georgia in
the eighth round and drew with Maghami in the final round to finish
with 7.5 points and clinch the overall title and the top prize of
US$5,000. The 31-year-old Li, who finished only 23rd overall in the
recent President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Cup, had six wins and three
draws in topping the 68-player field.


4th Pichay Cup Winners

Iuldachev drew with So in the eighth round and
outdueled IM Rolando Nolte in the final round to join Zhang and
Ghaemmaghami in second to fourth places with 6.5 points. Iuldachev, however, clinched runner-up honors via higher
tiebreak score. The three players pocketed US$3,000 form the combined
second to fourth prizes of US$9,000. So, Mchedlishvili and Villamayor earned US$1,167 each.

National Chess federation of the Philippines (NCFP)
president Prospero Pichay awarded the trophies and cash prizes to the
top finishers. Also present were NCFP secretary-general Mayor Abraham
“Bambol” Tolentino, NCFP officials Red Dumuk, Judge Gonzalo Mapili,
Edmundo Legaspi and Willie Abalos and supervising arbiter Peter Long
of Malaysia.

IM Richard Bitoon also struck hardest on the final day of
competition, beating No. 8 seed GM Marat Dzhumaev of Uzbekistan in
63 moves of the Modern Defense to finish in eighth place overall with
5.5 points.

The pride of Medellin, Cebu also crushed Ali Branzuela in
the eighth round to set up a final-round match with the higher-rated
Uzbek player. Actually, Bitoon finished in a heavy, 16-player tie for
eighth to 23rd places with 5.5 points but clinched eighth spot with
the highest tiebreak score. Also with the same score of 5.5 points are GM Mark
Paragua, GM Konstantin Shanava of Georgia, GM Murtas Kazhgaleyev of
Kazakhstan, GM Darwin Laylo, GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam,
Deshun Xiu of China, GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia, GM Weiqi
Zhou of China, Haridas Pascua, GM Jayson Gonzales, GM Dao Thien Hai
of Vietnam, IM Julio Catalino Sadorra, IM Rolando Nolte, IM Oliver
Dimakiling and GM Nguyen Anh Dung of Vietnam.

Final Standings

7.5 points – S. Li (China)

6.5 – S. Iuldachev (Uzbekistan), Z. Zhang (Singapore),
E. Ghaemmaghami (Iran)

6.0 – W. So (Philippines), M. Mchedlishvili (Georgia), B. Villamayor

5.5 – R. Bitoon (Philippines), M. Paragua (Philippines), K. Shanava (Georgia), M.
Kazhgaleyev (Kazakhstan), D. Laylo (Philippines), N.G. Truong Son (Vietnam), D.
Xiu (China), S. Megaranto (Indonesia), W. Zhou (China), H. Pascua (Philippines),
J. Gonzales (Philippines), D.T. Hai (Vietnam), J., Sadorra (Philippines), R. Nolte (Philippines), O.
Dimakiling (Philippines), N.A. Dung (Vietnam)

5.0 – Y. Wan (China), P. Roca (Philippines), J. Gomez (Philippines), Y. Wen (China), Z.
Zhang (China), K. Yang (China), C. H. Hoang (Vietnam), L. Wang

4.5 – R. Bancod (Philippines), M. Dzumaev (Uzbekistan), N. de la Cruz (Philippines),
R. Legaspi (Philippines), H. Nouri (Philippines), E. Bagamasbad (Philippines), W. Goh (Singapore), R. Dableo (Philippines)