Barbosa earns first GM norm

INTERNATIONAL Master Oliver Barbosa earned his first grandmaster norm following a draw with Grandmaster Abhijit Kunte of India in the ninth and final round of the 10th Asian Continental Individual Chess Championship on Tuesday, May 10, at the Hotel Pardisan in Mashhad, Iran.

The draw gave him 5.0 points overall, good for a share of 13th to 21st places.

Also with 5.0 points were Kunte, GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly and GM Sethuraman SP of India, compatriot GM John Paul Gomez, GM Wen Yang of China, GM Anuar Ismagambetov of Kazakhstan, GM Cao Sang of Vietnam and former world champion and top seed GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan.

Barbosa, who collected a total performance rating (TPR) of 2606, drew his first matches against GM Krishnan Sasikiran of India, GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam and GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami of Iran.

He beat FM Al-Ali Hussein Ali Hussein (2394) of Iraq in the fourth, bowed to GM Zhao Jun (2574) of China in the fifth, and toppled IM Alavi Sayed Javad (2428) of Iran in the sixth.

The pride of Taytay, Rizal also split the point with Kasimdzhanov (2685) in the seventh, GM Adhiban B (2543) of India in the eighth.

GM Wesley So, country’s top rated player with an ELO rating of 2667, halved the point with GM Parimarjan Negi of India to share 9th to 12th places with his opponent, GM Zhao Jun and GM Zhou Weiqi of China at 5.5 points.

GM Pentala Harikrishna of India bested GM Yu Yangyi of China and GM Truong Son in the tiebreak to capture the title. They finished with identical 6.5 points.

GM Rinat Jumabayev of Kazakhstan beat Kasimdzhanov to emerge fourth overall after the tiebreak. The top four will represent the region in the 2011 World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia later this year. Liberty Icao

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