MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Grand Master (GM) Darwin Laylo grabbed the top spot in the 2012 Manila Open Chess Championships, dubbed the Mayor’s Cup, last Sunday at the SM City Manila.
Laylo collected a total score of 7.5 points, half a point ahead of 12-time National Open champion GM Rogelio Antonio Jr., and former Philippine Junior Champion and National Master (NM) Rolando Andador.
Antonio and Andador settled for second and third place, respectively.
Laylo defeated fellow GMs Antonio and Mark Paragua in the final two rounds to clinch the title in the eight-round event, which is sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.
Laylo took home P20,000, the top prize, in the one-day affair, which also served as part of the kick-off activities for the city’s 441st founding anniversary.
“Medyo nasa kondisyon pa ako, saka nagbunga din yung araw-araw na paghahanda natin at pagre-review ng mga latest ideas and techniques sa chess,” said Laylo, who recently won the 2012 POC-PSC National Games Open chess championships.
A veteran participant of the World Chess Olympiad and the World Chess Cup, Laylo is also a member of the Philippine Team that captured the silver medal in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.
Laylo will next participate in the grand finals of the 2012 Battle of the Grandmasters in Kalibo, Aklan next month.
The event will serve as a qualification tournament to determine the country’s representative to the World Chess Olympiad to be held in Istanbul, Turkey in September. By Marlon Bernardino
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– GM Susan Polgar