Gomez recovers but ends up at 8th in Joytu Sheik Hasina online chess tiff
Gomez recovers but ends up at 8th in Joytu Sheik Hasina online chess tiff
Joey Villar (Philstar.com) - September 27, 2020 - 2:34pm

MANILA, Philippines — Olympiad veteran Grandmaster John Paul Gomez shook off a third-round setback and finished off strong to finish half a point behind eventual champion GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia in the Joytu Sheik Hasina Online Chess Tournament 2020 over the weekend.

The 34-year-old Gomez, who has played five Olympiad editions, finished with 6.5 points to wind up in a five-man logjam at No. 4 but eventually ended up eighth after tiebreakers were applied.

Megaranto took the crown after edging Indian GM S. L. Narayanan and Iranian GM M. Amin Tabatabaei, whom he finished with the same score of seven points, via tiebreak.

Gomez was stymied early by a painful loss to Indonesia’s International Master Novendra Priasmoro in the third round but bounced back big by stringing together 4.5 points in his last six games, including a final-round draw with second pick GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam.

GM Joey Antonio, the only bet the Philippines fielded in this by-invitation, nine-round event organized by a Bangladeshi group, had a solid start but faltered late and settled for 15th place with 5.5 points.

Antonio, who at 58 is considered the country’s ironman of online chess, was in title-contention in the first six rounds but lost two straight to Indian GMs S. L. Narayanan and Prasanna V. Vishnu and blew his chance.

He trounced Choudhury Anata of Bangladesh in the last round to end up a respectable finish at 15th.

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