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Italy chess tourney: Antonio bounces back into contention

By Marlon Bernardino
Thu, 24 Nov 2022

MANILA---Grandmaster Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr bounced back in contention after a setback in the sixth and seventh round by defeating International Master Markus Loeffler of Germany in the 30th FIDE World Senior Individual Chess Championship (50+ and 65+ Open-men and women) held at the Hotel Cenacolo in Assisi, Umbria, Italy on Wednesday, Nov. 23.

The 60-year-old Antonio prevailed after 22 moves Sicilian Defense, Rossolimo Attack variation using the advantageous white pieces in the eight round.

Antonio, who beat Grandmaster Eric Prie of France in the fifth round before losing to Grandmaster Darcy Lima of Brazil in the sixth round and top seed Grandmaster Zurab Sturua of Georgia in the seventh round, came back strong to chalk up his fifth win on account of 5 points, 1 draw and 2 loses in eight matches and share tenth to 23rd places in the 50+ category.

The thirteen-seeded Filipino champion swept his first three assignments over Igor Tsyn of Israel, Fide Master Milan Kolesar of Slovakia and International Master Hussein Ali Hussein Al-Ali of Iraq before halving the point with Grandmaster Ivan Morovic Fernandez of Chile in the fourth round.

Antonio, whose trip is being bankrolled by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. , Sen. Bong Go, Col. Jaime Osit Santos and Bayanihan Chess Club Co-Founding Chairman Dr. Joe Balinas, will slug it out countryman International Master Angelo Abundo Young in the ninth round Thursday night.

The 59-year-old Young, an an eight-time Illinois USA champion, subdued Fide Master Nicola Paglietti of Italy.

Meanwhile, GM Fernandez racked up his third straight wins this time to GM Lima after 48 moves of Sicilian Dragon, Maróczy Bind variation to grab the solo lead with 7.0 points, half a point ahead with GM Sturua and IM Fabrizio Bellia of Italy who totes 6.5 points apiece.

International Master elect and Fide Master Jose Efren Bagamasbad dismantled Julio Santos of Portugal to meet FM Malkiel Peretz of Israel in the next round.

The 66-year-old Bagamasbad raised his total 5.0 points in the 65 years old and above category.

GM Jens Kristiansen of Denmark upset top pick GM Dr. John Nunn of England to climb at the top spot with 7.0 points in eight outings.

Kristiansen only loss at the hands of Bagamasbad in the second round.-Marlon Bernardino-

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Marlon Bernardino.

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