Gamble does not pay off for Darwin Laylo
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - June 16, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Grandmaster Darwin Laylo took a gamble and lost to kiss his World Cup bid goodbye after bowing to GM Lu Shanglei of China in the eighth round of the Asian Continental Chess Championship in Xingtai, China Friday night.

Needing no less than a victory to prop his WC bid, Laylo nearly pulled it off after launching a vicious queenside attack in their Center-Counter game while virtually exposing his king. But he failed to sustain his charge and blew his winning chances while succumbing to the former world juniors champion’s counterattack that he even missed a chance to salvage a draw in their slam-bang encounter.

When the end came, Laylo was left with just a rook and four pawns against Lu’s mighty queen and three pawns.

The defeat snapped Laylo’s run of three wins and a draw in the last four matches and dropped him from Top 10 to joint 22nd with 10 others with 4.5 points.

A victory would have netted Laylo a share of fifth in the nine-round tournament staking five slots to the World Cup set Sept. 9-Oct. 2 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

Laylo later closed out with a draw with Indian GM Venkataraman Karthik in 33 moves of a Gruenfeld Defense to emerge the top Filipino finisher with five points.

WGM Janelle Mae downed WIM Gulmira Dauletova to finish with five points for joint 11th with three others. It was an impressive finish for Frayna, who racked up four straight wins after settling for two draws.

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