Asian Seniors Chess: Garma, Roca keep 1-2 spots

Roy Luarca
Asian Seniors Chess: Garma, Roca keep 1-2 spots
International Masters Chito Garma and Petronio Roca turn back separate foes to stay on top of the 9th Asian Seniors Chess Championships



TAGAYTAY CITY, Philippines – International Masters Chito Garma and Petronio Roca hurdled their 8th round rivals to keep their 1-2 slot in the 50 and over division of the 9th Asian Seniors Chess Championships on Saturday night, November 10, at Tagaytay International Convention Center.

Grandmaster Eugene Torre, on the other hand, moved closer toward retaining the 65 and over crown by trouncing former national junior champion Stewart Manaog with the black pieces.

The 54-year-old Garma, a two-time Olympian and the No. 4 seed in the tournament, bested Kazakh FIDE Master Oleg Rinas, also with black, to climb to 7.0 points, half a point ahead of Roca, who kept pace by downing many time Philippine women’s team coach National Master Cesar Caturla.

In the 9th and final round Sunday, Garma will take on Australian Angelito Camer, who trounced Edwin Caballero; while the third-seeded Roca will collide with the second-seeded Rinas.

A win by Garma will give the former University of Manila standout the title outright, regardless of the outcome of the Roca-Rinas match.

The 67-year-old Torre improved to 6.0 points, one point ahead of division challengers Caturla, who’s 68, and retired judge Rosendo Bandal Jr., who’s 70.

Alone at 5.5 points is Balikbayan IM Angelo Young, who downed Than Khin of Myanmar.

Bandal, a former teammate of Torre in the national squad, tamed Indonesian Fide Master Syarif Mahmud.

Torre needs only to draw against Kazakh IM Aitkazy Bairmuzin, who subdued Indonesian FM Muhammad Novian Siregar.

After Sunday’s final round, the awarding ceremony will be held at the venue with Tagaytay City Mayor Agnes Tolentino expected to attend. Cavite Rep. Abraham “Bambol”Tolentino, the prime mover of the annual event, is in London as special guest of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) championship between defending champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Fabiano Caruana of the United States. –


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