Antonio rules KL seniors chess
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - August 19, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino Grandmaster Joey Antonio saved the day for the Philippine contingent after topping the senior division of the IGB Dato’ Tan Chin Nam International Chess Open in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday.

Antonio, 57, lived up to his top billing by leading most of the way and had the luxury of drawing four of his last five games including a final-round standoff with Ukrainian International Master Mikhail Vasilyev to finish on top with seven points.

The 11-time national champion actually ended up tied for first with countryman GM Jayson Gonzales, who downed Malaysian Lee Soi Hock in the ninth and final round, but the former emerged champ via the tiebreak.

Gonzales, a first timer in the division being only 50 years old, settled for second place.

Another Phl bet, Romy Fagon, bested Indonesian Mukim Nadya Anggraini to end up tied on top in the Challenger division with another Indonesian Gayuh Satrio with eight points each but lost the title after the latter finished with a higher tiebreak score, 54-51.

The Phl bets, however, faltered in the premier division.

The best the Filipinos could show in the Open was a share of 16th spot among Jeth Romy Morado, Israelito Rilloraza, FIDE Master Alekhine Nouri, Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frauna and GM Darwin Laylo with 5.5 points each, or 1.5 points behind eventual champion Novendra Priasmoro of Indonesia.

After the tiebreak, Morado, the reigning national junior titlist, emerged the best Filipino finisher at 16th, followed by Rilloraza (17th), Nouri (20th), Frayna (21st) and Laylo (27th).

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