GM Wang Hao of China slammed the title door on GM Mark Paragua with a crushing 42-move win of a Sicilian to rule the Philippine Sports Commission-Puregold International Chess Challenge at the Subic Bay Peninsular Hotel Sunday night.
The top-seeded Wang emerged the solo champion with seven points five days after he also scored seven in reigning supreme in the first of this two-leg chess series sponsored by the PSC, Burlington, Marc Adventures Mining Inc. and Puregold less than week ago.
Half a point behind at solo second spot was fourth seed GM Pevan Pantsulaia of Georgia, who overtook sixth pick GM Vladislav Kovalev of Belarus with a 64-move triumph of a Reti Opening.
Kovalev dropped to a share of No. 3 with second seed GM Anton Demchenko of Russia and seventh pick GM Merab Gagunashvili, who settled for a quick 13-move draw of a Ruy Lopez, with six points each.
Paragua, for his part, ended up in a four-man pack at No. 6 with 5.5 points alongside GMs Kirill Stupakof Belarus, Mikheil Mchedlishvili of Georgia and Boris Savchenko of Russia.
Stupak trounced IM Abhimanyu Puranik of India in 40 moves of a Caro-kann while Mchedlishvili and Savchenko battled to a long 71-move deadlock of a Queen’s Indian Defense.
IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia and FIDE Master Roel Abelgas split the point in just 14 moves of a Slav to wind up tied at 10th spot along with GM Tigran Kotanjian of Armenia, who overpowered Harshit Raja of India 48 moves of another Queen’s Indian encoutner, with five points apiece.