Mark Paragua
STAR/File
Paragua tops Pichay Cup; NCFP to revamp national team
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - June 29, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The National Chess Federation of the Philippines is planning a national team revamp to send the possible best team in the 44th World Chess Olympiad that has been moved from this year to the next due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Now that the Olympiad is set 2021, we have time to constitute a stronger team and determine who will best represent us,” said NCFP executive director Cliburn Orbe.

The pronouncement came after the country’s top GMs came out of inactivity to join the Battle of the GMs dubbed Cong. Pichay Birthday Cup that was topped by reigning bullet king Mark Paragua.

The New York-based Paragua turned back GM Joey Antonio, 1.5-.5, to rule the 16-player field that was considered the strongest in years after drawing participation from 11 GMs and a WGM.

United States-based GMs Julio Catalino Sadorra, Oliver Barbosa and Richard Bitoon and Milan, Italy-based Roland Salvador took part in the one-day meet that staked P100,000 including P25,000 to the winner.

GM John Paul Gomez had the best finish from among five present national mainstays as he made the top four where he lost to Antonio, .5-1.5.

MARK PARAGUA
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