Asian Seniors Chess: Garma grabs solo lead

Roy Luarca
Former Olympian Chito Garma pulls ahead, leaving Grandmaster Eugene Torre's title-retention drive in jeopardy

 

VETERAN MOVE. Tournament leader Chito Garma (right) beats fellow Olympian Cesar Caturla. Photo release 

 

TAGAYTAY CITY, Philippines – International Master Chito Garma bested National Master Cesar Caturla in a battle between former Olympians Thursday night, November 8, to grab the solo lead in the 9th Asian Seniors Championships at Tagaytay International Convention Center.

The 54-year-old Garma, who played in the 1990 Novi Sad and 1992 Manila Olympiads, raised his total to 5.5 points after 6 rounds, towing IM Petronio Roca, who subdued Carlo Lorena for 5.0 points in the tournament confined to players over 50 years old.

Caturla, who saw action in the 1976 Haifa Olympiad, remained at 4.5 points, towing a five-man group led by top seed Grandmaster Eugene Torre.

Torre, pulled down by a fifth-round loss to Garma, settled for a draw with second seed FIDE Master Oleg Rinas, leaving his title-retention drive in jeopardy.

With 4.0 points, Torre, who handily won the 65 and over crown in last year’s Asian Seniors held in Auckland, New Zealand, was tied with Rinas, Fide Master Adrian Pacis, IM Angelo Young and unheralded Rolzon Roullo.

Pacis downed FM Syarif Mahmud while Young and Roullo also split the point in other key 5th round matches of the event which drew a total of 34 players from 9 countries.

Crucial Round 7 matches pit Garma against Roca, Caturla against Young, Torre against Pacis, and Roullo against Oleg.

The annual tournament is being hosted by the Tagaytay City government through Mayor Agnes Tolentino and Cavite 7th  District Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino. – Rappler.com