Standings after four rounds:
(Philippines unless stated)
3.5 points -- C. Garma, E. Torre, C. Caturla
3 -- A. Pacis, S. Mahmud (Indonesia), T. Khin (Myanmar), P. Roca
2.5 -- A. Young, C. Lorena, K. Jumadullayev (Kazakhstan), R. Roullo, T. Davis (Australia), O. Rinas (Kazakhstan), S. Manaog.
TAGAYTAY City-- Defending champion GM Eugene Torre agreed to a draw with IM Petronio Roca in a keenly-watched all-Filipino showdown even as IM Chito Garma and NM Cesar Caturla came through with decisive victories in the fourth round of the 9th Asian Seniors Chess Championship at the Tagaytay International Convention Center here Tuesday.
Facing his biggest challenge yet, Torre worked harder than usual to force a draw with Roca in 31 moves of the Queen’s Indian defense and keep a share of the lead with Garma and Caturla with 3.5 points out of a possible four.
The 67-year-old Filipino champion, who swept the tournament in Auckland, New Zealand last year, and Roca both have a queen, a bishop and six pawns each when the game was agreed drawn.
“Did (Eugene) Torre dodge a bullet against (Petronio) Roca in Round 4 of the Asian Seniors? Roca had a good position when the game was drawn,” said veteran chess journalist Ignacio Dee in his analysis for the social media group Chess Philippines.
Roca himself claimed he was slight better when the game was drawn after 31. Qb5.
“I was threatening d5 and Qc6, winning his c-pawn. His bishop is bad but I had only 20 minutes left to reach move 40,” said Roca.
Sharing the limelight in this 34-player, nine-nation tournament hosted by the Tagaytay City government thru Cavite 7th District Cong. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino Jr. and Tagaytay City Mayor Agnes Tolentino are Garma, who defeated NM Carlo Lorena in 36 moves of the Sicilian and Caturla, who trounced NM Rolzon Roullo in 54 moves of another Sicilian to join Torre with 3.5/4.
FM Adrian Pacis outclassed Angelito Camer of Australia to post his second straight win and lead three other players -- FM Syarif Mahmud of Indonesia and Than Khin of Myanmar and Roca – in fourth to seventh places with three points.
Mahmud dumped Iraj Sabah of Iran and Khin halved the point with second seed FM Oleg Rinas of Kazakhstan to stay in contention for the top prize of US$500 out of the total prize of US$3,000 from the Asian Chess Federation.
Comebacking IM Angelo Young and Stewart Manaog agreed to a draw in the battle between former national junior champions to lead a seven-way tie for eighth to 14th places with 2.5 points.
Three-time women’s champion Helen Milligan of New Zealand drew with FM Muhammad Novian Siregar of Indonesia to remain as the top female performer with 1.5/4.
At stake in the tournament organized by Tagaytay Chess Club on behalf of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and Asian Chess Federation (ACF) and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) are cash prizes and medals.
Mike Lapitan is the tournament director, while Patrick Lee is the supervising arbiter
P. Roca vs. E. Torre
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 b5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.O-O c5 6.c3 Be7 7.Qd3 c4 8.Qc2 Be4 9.Qd1 Qc7 10.Nbd2 Bd5 11.Re1 Ne4 12.Qc2 Qb7 13.Ne5 Nxd2 14.Bxd5 Qxd5 15.Bxd2 d6 16.e4 Qb7 17.Ng4 Nd7 18.a4 a6 19.h4 O-O 20.b3 Nb6 21.axb5 axb5 22.Ne3 Rfc8 23.bxc4 Nxc4 24.Nxc4 Rxa1 25.Rxa1 bxc4 26.Rb1 Qa8 27.Rb2 Rb8 28.Rxb8+ Qxb8 29.Qa2 Qc8 30.Qa4 Bf8 31.Qb5 1/ 2– 1/2