The Philippines’ International Master (IM) Oliver Dimakiling emphasized his claim as one of the country’s top player when he nipped countryman and fellow IM Oliver Barbosa in the tie-break to rule the 2010 Penang International Open Chess Championships in Malaysia on Sunday.
The fourth-ranked Dimakiling, former top player of De La Salle University (DSLU)-Taft, finished with a nine-round total of 7.5 points on six wins and three draws to annex his first major title this year.
The veteran campaigner from Davao City, playing under the banner of National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr., finished tied for first with the top-seeded Barbosa but won the title with a superior tie-break score of 54.5 against the latter’s 53.5.
With the victory, Dimakiling and Barbosa’s performance boosted the nation’s morale, said NCFP president/chairman and Local Water Utilities Administration chair Pichay.
“Once again, our flag has been raised in the foreign land after knowing that our Filipino kababayan Oliver Dimakiling and Barbosa shared the top honors in the Penang Open Chess meet,” he said.
In the final round, Dimakiling split the point with compatriot IM Luis Chiong of Antique while Barbosa, who hails from Taytay, Rizal outduelled another Pinoy entry and National Master (NM) Ian Cris Udani of Bacolod City.
GM Niaz Murshed of Bangladesh trounced IM Yves Ranola of Caloocan City to clinch solo third place with seven points and prevent a possible Filipino-dominated event.
Chiong and Ranola, both finished tied for fourth to fifth with 6.5 points.
Former Philippine artist champion FIDE Master (FM) Christopher Castellano of Cainta, Rizal, who is seeking his IM title, blasted Ismail Ahmad of Malaysia to lead a big group of players with six points.
They included Udani, FM Haridas Pascua of Mangatarem, Pangasinan, NM Edgard Reggie Olay of Davao City and FM Julius Joseph de Ramos of Manila, IM Mas Hafizulhelmi, Edward Lee, Ng Tze Han and Tan Khai Boom of Malaysia and Andre Jerome of Singapore. (PNA)