Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Pabalan rules FCPL July Chess Tournament

Rocky Pabalan claimed his second FCPL championship after ruling the FCPL July Chess Tournament held last July 24, 2009 at Reef Mall in Dubai.

Pabalan defeated Egypt's Kassem Sayed in the final round to post six points, half a point clear of joint second placers Marvin Marcos and Hermie Cagatin, who drew their seventh-round encounter.

The tournament champion started strong, racing to a hot 5-0 start before getting derailed in the sixth of the seven-round competition, dropping the point to the top-seeded Marcos. In contrast, Marcos suffered an upset in the early rounds, losing to Richard Perez.

Marcos' win over Pabalan resulted in a three-way logjam at the top entering the final round with Pabalan, Marcos and Cagatin each toting five points. While Pabalan recovered from the penultimate-round defeat to prevail over Sayed in this final assignment, Marcos failed to complete his comeback bid when he blundered away a piece in the middlegame against Cagatin.

Despite the material disadvantage, Marcos was able to launch a dangerous attack, which Cagatin barely survived, reducing the game to a king-knight-bishop vs. king endgame. However, Cagatin's inferior endgame knowledge prevented him from securing the full point as he couldn't pin down Marcos' solitary king to deliver mate with his king, bishop and knight – a commonly taken for granted elementary endgame technique. Cagatin eventually gave up chasing Marcos' king all over the board and conceded the draw.

Danny Ambing won over India's Sathya to secure fourth place with five points, while Gerry Lababo outplayed Lawrence de Luna to post 4.5 points and secure the fifth spot, prevailing in the tiebreak points over fellow 4.5-pointer Larry Dolor.

The category winners were India's Anusweud (Top Kiddie), Nino Gawid (Top Under 1700), Carlos de Guzman (Top Under 1800) and Richard Perez (Top Under 1900).

Filipino Chess Players League (FCPL) vice president Larry Dolor and FCPL board member Gerry Lababo handed out the cash prizes to the winners.

Awarding Photos

Rocky Pabalan (left) receives his championship prize from FCPL Director Gerry Lababo (centre) and FCPL Vice President Larry Dolor

Top-seed Marvin Marcos settles for runner-up honors

Third-placer Hermie Cagatin receives his prize for one of his best performances in the FCPL series

Danny Ambing, eclipsing the more fancied bets, at fourth

Gerry Lababo rounds out the top five in also one of his best efforts so far in the league

Top Under 1800 - Carlos de Guzman

Top Kiddie - India's Anusweud

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