Ageless De Guzman breaks into top 10
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - December 15, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — International Master Ricky de Guzman recalled his once deadly form while Woman FIDE Master Allaney Jia Doroy pulled off perhaps the biggest upset of the tournament to barge into the top 10 after four rounds of the seventh Asian Continental Chess Championships (second Manny Pacquiao Cup) at the Tiara Hotel in Makati Thursday night.

The 58-year-old De Guzman downed IM Sumiya Bilguun of Mongolia and the 17-year-old Doroy stole the spotlight after she shocked second seed IM Gulishkan Nakhbayeva of Kazakhstan to both bolster their title bids.

De Guzman, back in the country after living in the US for more than a decade, used his superb endgame skill to turn a slight advantage into a full point that put him in a 22-player logjam at 10th spot with 2.5 points.

Doroy, a multiple gold medalist in the last two ASEAN school chess meet and playing out of National U, joined a seven-player tie at eighth spot with 2.5 points. He was playing 18th seed WIM Dewi Ardhiani Anastasia Citra in the fifth round at press time.

With a relatively lower rating  of 1972, Doroy has beaten the likes of Nakhabayeva (Elo 2371) and Olympiad veteran Catherine Secopito (2145), while splitting the point with WFM Li Yunshan (2196) of China.

Her only loss was to 14th seed WFM Turmunkh Munkhzul of Mongolia in the opening round.

The 1981 Asian Junior champion has been playing solidly the last three rounds, beating Chinese Taipei’s Bai Adelard and drawing with IM Shmasidding Vokhidov of Uzbekistan along the way as she made up for a heartbreaking defeat to 14th seed GM Rinat Jumabayev of Kazakhstan in the opening round.

De Guzman was clashing with another Uzbek, IM Nodribek Yakubboev, in the fifth round at press time with hopes of further boosting his title chances in this nine-round tournament staking five berths to next year’s World Cup.

Going into the final five rounds, De Guzman is the highest scorer among the local bets thus far as IM Roderick Nava, the top contender in the previous round, fell to top seed GM Wang Hao of China to slip to a six-man group at 32nd place with two points.

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