Garma rules Asian Seniors chess tilt

November 11, 2018
Chito Garma
Garma: US$500 richer in Tagaytay.

Final standings:

(Philippines unless stated)

Over-50

8 points – C. Garma

6.5 – P. Roca

6 – O. Rinas (Kazakhstan), A, Young

5.5 – C. Lorena

5 –A. Pacis, A. Camer (Australia), T. Khin (Myanmar), A. Baimurzin (Kazakhstan), K. Jumadullayev (Kazakhstan), E. Roull, S. MAhmud (Indonesia).

Over-65

7 – E. Torre

6.5 – C. Caturla

5.5 – R. Bandal

4 – C. Padua, K. S. Lim (Malaysia)

TAGAYTAY CITY – Two-time Olympiad veteran IM Chito Garma ended years of frustrations by finally winning  a big one – the 9th Asian Seniors Chess Championships at the Tagaytay International Convention Center here Sunday.

Garma, at 54 still looking fit as a fiddle,  swept his last two matches against second seed  FM Oleg Rinas of Kazakhstan and Angelito Camer of Australia to finish a clear winner with eight points on seven wins and two draws in the tournament organized by the Asian Chess Federation and hosted by the  Tagaytay City government thru Cavite 7th District Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino Jr. and Tagaytay City Mayor Agnes Tolentino.

“I’m very happy to win again, especially in an international tournament like this Asian Seniors. Maagang Pasko ito,” said the Tondo, Manila-based Garma, who pocketed the top prize of US$500 out of the total purse of US$3,000.

Another veteran player on the comeback trail, IM Petronio Roca, finished second to Garma with 6.5 points on five wins, three draws and one loss, and earned US$400.

Roca, one of only two players who held Garma to a draw,  won over NM Cesar Caturla in the eighth round  but lost to Rinas in the final round.

Rinas and IM Angelo Young shared third to fourth places with six points, while NM Carlo Lorena wound up fifth with 5.5 points.

Last  year’s champion, GM Eugene Torre, also hurdled his last  two assignments against former national junior champion Stewart Manaog and Aitkazy Baimurzin  of Kazakhstan to finish with seven points.

Torre  settled for the US$350 prize for the over-65 category.

Caturla and  fellow Olympian  NM Rosendo Bandal finished second and third with 6.5 and 5.5 points, respectively in the over-65 category.

WFM Helen Milligan of New Zealand emerged as the top female player for the fourth consecutive time with 4/8.

Milligan edged Almagul Chakeyeva of Kazkahstan, who had 3.5/8, for the US$100 top prize.

A far third overall was Olympian Mila Emperado.

A total of 34 players from nine countries -- Australia, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Palestine and host the Philippines --saw action in the  week-long competition also supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

Mike Lapitan served as the tournament director, while Patrick Lee was the supervising arbiter, along with Elias Lao, Lito Abril and Hubert Estrella.