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Antonio 2nd in world senior chess; Torre 7th

MANILA, Philippines — Grandmaster Joey Antonio downed Italian International Master Spartaco Sarno in 51 moves of a Caro-Kann Defense to finish second in the 50-and-above division of the 27th World Seniors Chess Championship in Acqui Terme, Italy Saturday.

Antonio, 55, actually finished tied with French GM Eric Prie, who drew with Russian IM Evgenij Kalegin, at 8.5 points but took the runner-up honors after tiebreaks, 73-71.5.

GM Julio Granda Zuniga of Peru split the point with last year’s champion GM Giorgi Bagaturov of Georgia to finish on top with 9.5 points.

Antonio capped his sterling play by finishing third in the blitz section where he accumulated seven points.

Ukraine’s IM Alexander Reprintsev topped the side event with 8.5 points while German Rolf Fritsch wound up second with 7.5 points.

GM Eugene Torre, meanwhile, battled France’s GM Anatoly Vaisser, last year’s title-holder and former four-time winner of this meet, to a 57-move standoff of a Queen’s Pawn showdown to end up tied for second with five others with eight points.

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Torre ended up seventh after tiebreaks behind Vaisser, Czech Republic’s GM Vlastimil Jansa, France’s GM Vladimir Okhotnik, Germany’s GM Lothar Vogt and Russia’s GM Yuri Blashov.

Russia’s GM Evgeny Sveshnikov trounced Israel’s IM Arkady Shevelev to clinch the crown with 8.5 points.          

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