Viets deny Torre, Barbosa slots in World Cup
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - March 16, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Vietnamese Grandmasters Le Quang Liem and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son denied Filipino GMs Oliver Barbosa and Eugene Torre the World Cup slots by seizing it for their own at the end of the Asian Zonals 3.3 Championship in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam yesterday.

Nguyen, playing black in a French duel, pounced on an endgame blunder by Torre by translating it into a pawn advantage that he easily converted into victory while grabbing the second and last berth to the World Cup set Sept. 10 to Oct. 4 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Le, the highest ranked chesser in this nine-round tournament with a rating of 2676, had clinched the first slot to Baku by downing another Filipino, GM Darwin Laylo in Saturday’s eighth and penultimate round.

He clinched the title by battling Barbosa to a fighting 96-move draw in their Queen’s Pawn Game to finish with 7.5 points, half a point ahead of Nguyen.

Barbosa though ended up the highest-placed Philippine bet as he wound up at joint fourth with Vietnamese GM Cao Sang with six points.

Chinese-born Singaporean Zhang Zhong crushed GM Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam in 47 moves of another Queen’s Pawn showdown to finish solo third with 6.5 points.

Filipinos making it to the top 10 with 5.5 points were GMs Darwin Laylo, John Paul Gomez and Richard Bitoon and International Master Rolando Nolte. 

ASIAN ZONALS BARBOSA CAO SANG DAO THIEN HAI OF VIETNAM DARWIN LAYLO HO CHI MINH JOHN PAUL GOMEZ AND RICHARD BITOON AND INTERNATIONAL MASTER ROLANDO NOLTE NGUYEN OLIVER BARBOSA AND EUGENE TORRE THE WORLD CUP PAWN GAME SINGAPOREAN ZHANG ZHONG
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