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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Manny Pacquiao Chess Cup Asian Continental 2013: Four Players in Lead

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2013

Hi everyone, 

Manny Pacquiao (centre) watching Filipino GM Julio Sadorra beat IM Wang Chen of China. With Pacquiao are GM Eugene Torre (left) and NCFP Chairman/President Prospero A. Pichay, Jr.

Here is the latest chess news via Fide. Four Philippine players are in the lead pack at the halfway mark of the Manny Pacquiao Chess Cup Asian Continental Chess Championship at the Midas Hotel and Casino in Metro Manila, Philippines. GM Mark Paragua grabbed solo lead with 4.5 points after beating erstwhile leader compatriot Julio Sadorra in the 5th round. Sadorra, a senior business administration student at the University of Texas in Dallas, Filipino GMs John Paul Gomez and Richard Bitoon, top seed Vietnamese GM Le Quang Liem and Chinese GM Li Chao trail by half-point behind with 4 points each.

There was exciting chess in all the rounds. Paragua penetrated the French Defense of Sadorra with his Rook on the seventh rank and delivered checkmate on the 33rd move. Gomez beat Chinese GM Li Shilong, Bitoon outsmarted compatriot GM Joey Antonio, Li Chao smashed GM Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam while Le Quang Liem was held to a draw by GM Lalith Babu of India.

The top five qualify for the World Chess Cup to be held this August in Tromso, Norway.

In the women's chess division, the champion qualifies to next year’s Women’s World Chess Championship. WGM Mary Ann Gomes of India outclassed WGM Guliskhan Nakhbayeva of Kazakhstan to create a four-way tie for first along with IM Batkhuyag Munguntuul of Mongolia, WGMs Guo Qi and Wang Jue of China with 4.0 points each. Munguntuul drew with WGM Huang Qian of China; Guo bested WGM Nguyen Thi Thanh An of Vietnam; Wang nipped WIM Hoang Thi Nhu Y of Vietnam. WFM Antoinette San Diego blasted WGM Swaminathan Soumya of India to lead the group of 3.5 pointers with WGMs Huang Qian and Tan Zhongyi and WIM Ni Shiqun of China, WGM Nafisa Muminova of Uzbekistan and IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen of Vietnam.

The chess tournament is organised by the GM Eugene Torre Chess Foundation and sponsored by eight-division world boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, Cafe Puro, Alaxan, Oriental and Motolite Corp. and held under the auspices of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines, Asian Chess Federation and Fide. Top games are broadcast live on

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