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Bacolod City, PhilippinesFriday, January 6, 2012
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Filipino GMs in good start at
India Open chess tourney

Grandmasters Oliver Barbosa, Mark Paragua and John Paul Gomez of the Philippines waylaid their respective foes to jump-start their bids in the SDAT-RMK 4th Chennai Open Grand Master Chess Tournament yesterday in Chennai, India.

Taytay, Rizal native Barbosa subdued Gur Azikri in the first round, then toppled Pratik Patil in the second; Marilao-Meycauayan, Bulacan star Paragua dismantled Kumar Atul and PC Iyer Akash, while Binan, Laguna bet Gomez trounced G. Apurva and Ja Gireman.

The triumvirate, backed up by National Chess Federation of the Philippines chairman/president Prospero  Pichay Jr., Philippine Sports Commission  chairman Ricardo "Richie" Garcia and Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose  Cojuangco, shared first to 56th places in the huge group of perfect two pointers that include top-seed GM Aleksej Aleksandrov of Bulgaria.

“It’s a good start for Oliver, Mark and John Paul. I hope they can perform well in India chess meet,"  Pichay said.

However, GM Richard Bitoon was upset in the second round.

"Let's hope that Bitoon win in the third round," Pichay added.

Medellin, Cebu native Bitoon beat V.S. Rathanvel in the opening round but yielded to Divyasree Chandika.

In the third round, Barbosa goes up against FM Ghosh Diptayan; Paragua will meet Ankit Rajpara; Gomez opposite IM Prakash G. B. while Bitoon will face Ajay Krishna.

The India chess campaign is a part of the Philippine Team preparation for this year's 38th World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey. *PNA


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