Paragua rules GM tourney
Posted: 10/3/2004
By: The Philippine Star
GM-elect Mark Paragua added the third Alushta Grandmasters chess tournament to his growing list of victories overseas as the ace Filipino chesser beat former USSR champion GM Gennadi Kuzmin of Russia in the penultimate round in Ukraine.

The win hiked Paragua’s tally to 10 points, 2.5 points clear of IMs Dmitry Andreikin and Alexsander Obukhov of Russia with one round left in the 13-round robin tournament.

The victory likewise underscored Paragua’s superb form heading to his stint in the 36th World Chess Olympiad where he will join GMs Eugene Torre and Joey Antonio, IM Jayson Gonzales, and NMs Darwin Laylo and Emmanuel Senador in the biennial event set Oct. 14-31 in Majorca, Spain.

Counting the points he gained in his victory over super GM Viktor Bologan in the World Chess Championship, his fine showing in the European chess circuit and his 1-2 finish in the first two Alushta GMTs, Paragua is expected to raise his ELO rating to 2572.

A win by Paragua in his final outing will earn him 30.7 FIDE rating points, enough to break the 2600-mark when the next FIDE rating list comes out in January 2005.

In case of a draw, Paragua will add 25.7 points in his rating while a loss will only gain him 20.7.

"Mark makes us proud. It’s very rewarding to see a Filipino dominate a certain event and he (Paragua) is doing just that," said National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president Go Teng Kok.

Based on the October edition of FIDE’s quarterly release of ratings, Paragua has an ELO of 2534, 10 ahead GM Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr. (ELO 2524) in the RP ranking. GM Eugene Torre is still in third with ELO 2518.

Others in the Top 10 are US-based IM Rogelio Barcenilla (ELO 2507), GM Nelson Mariano II (ELO 2464), GM Buenaventura "Bong" Villamayor (ELO 2463), IM Idelfonso Datu (ELO 2457), IM Enrique Paciencia (ELO 2449), IM-elect Yves Ranola (ELO 2449) and reigning Asian 3.2a Zonal champion IM Ronald Dableo (ELO 2449).

In the distaff side, Woman National Master Christine Castellano remained at No.1 spot with an ELO rating of 2139.

While WIM Beverly Mendoza (EL0 2131) and former National Open champion WNM Joann Toledo (ELO 2114) landed at 2nd to 3rd place, respectively.