Grandmaster (GM) Darwin Laylo settled for a draw with Chinese GM Wen Yang to rule the 2nd Chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay Cup international chess championship at the Subic Bay Travelers Hotel in Subic Bay, Olongapo City Wednesday.
The 31-year-old Laylo needed 31 moves of the Slav in disposing off the overly cautious Wen, but it was enough for the veteran campaigner from Lipa City to clinch the title.
Laylo actually finished tied for first place with Wen and GM Li Shilong of China with identical 7.5 points in the 10-round tournament organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP).
But the Filipino GM bagged the title by virtue of a higher tiebreak score against the two Chinese GMs. All three pocketed US$4,333 (P186,970) each out of the US$30,000 cash prize put up by the NCFP.
“Thank God. I’m happy to finally win after my failed campaign in the Asian Zonals in Tagaytay,” said Laylo in Filipino referring to his monumental collapse in last month’s Asian Zone 3.3 championships.
Laylo was in contention for the Asian Zonals crown and a berth in the 2011 World Cup but lost to Indonesian GM Susanto Megaranto in the final round.
Actually, Laylo nearly lost the title again when he lost to Li in their ninth round match to yield the top spot late Tuesday. After his draw with Wen, he anxiously waited for the result of Li’s match against Gerogian GM David Arutinian.
But Li failed to capitalize on his slim endgame advantage and halved the point against his higher-rated and veteran opponent to join Laylo and Wen on top of the standings. – JVP, GMA News
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