GRANDMASTER Mark Paragua turned back the hands of time and copped the title and the $6,000 champion’s purse at the end of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Cup International Chess Championship Sunday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
Paragua, the country’s former no. 1 player, settled for a draw against fellow GM Joey Antonio after 31 moves of the Sicilian defense in the final round of the $30,000 meet organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines in cooperation with the PSC and Smart.
The Tondo-born Paragua ended his campaign in the nine-round Swiss system tournament with a total of 7.5 points.
Erstwhile co-leader FIDE Master Haridas Pascua failed to keep in step with Paragua when he suffered a costly loss to GM John Paul Gomez of another Sicilian opening that was over after only 37 moves.
Haridas was tied with Paragua on top, each with 7.0 points going into the final round
Pascua and Gomez finished with 7.0 points apiece and shared the combined prize of $7,000 for second and third place finishers.