by Marlon Bernardino
MANILA---Fide Master Nelson Villanueva of the Philippines finished in a tie for first place along with eventual champion Fide Master Alexander Chernyavsky of Russia at the conclusion of Big Rook Chess Festival 2023 Standard Open tournament being held at the Thomson Hotel Huamark in Bangkok, Thailand last May 4-7, 2023.
The La Carlota City, Negros Occidental-native Villanueva defeated former solo leader and tournament top seed International Master Oleg Badmatsyrenov of Russia in the final round, to finish with 6.0 points on six wins and a loss in seven outings in the Open Section, the same output of Chernyavsky , who brought down countryman second seed Konstantin Sek.
After the tie-break points were applied, Chernyavsky took the championship, while Villanueva wound up in second place.
"I am very happy with my victory tonight," said Villanueva, a former Rizal Technological University Mandaluyong top chess player.
With the victory, Villanueva's performance boosted the nation's morale, said Bayanihan Chess Club secretary-general Fide Master Robert Suelo Jr., close confidante of Villanueva.
"Once again our flag has been raised in this foreign land after knowing that our Filipino kababayan FM Nelson Villanueva finished in a tie for first place," said 1996 Philippine Junior Champion Suelo, first coach of Super Grandmaster Wesley So.
Badmatsyrenov and Fide Master Austin Yang Ching Wei of Chinese-Taipei finished in a tie for third to fourth place with 5.5 points each followed by Sek, Louie Salvador of the Philippines, Fide Master Vincent Nguyen of France, Ryan Dungca and Ronald Nonles of the Philippines, who all finished with 5.0 points apiece.
Final Standings: ( Seven Round Swiss-System, Standard Time Control Format, 90 minutes plus 30 seconds increment)
6.0 points---FM Alexander Chernyavsky (Russia), FM Nelson Villanueva (Philippines)
5.5 points---IM Oleg Badmatsyrenov (Russia), FM Austin Yang Ching Wei (Chinese-Taipei)
5.0 points---Konstantin Sek (Russia), Louie Salvador (Philippines), FM Vincent Nguyen (France), Ryan Dungca (Philippines), Ronald Nonles (Philippines)
4.5 points---FM Thanadon Kulpruethanon (Thailand), Apichit Buakird (Thailand)
Fide Master Thanadon Kulpruethanon and Apichit Buakird of Thailand were 10th to 11th places who totes 4.5 points.-Marlon Bernardino-