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IM Quizon beats GM Sivuk in Manny Pacquiao chessfest

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IM Daniel Quizon (right) and GM Vitaly Sivuk (left) — MCPL FACEBOOK PAGE

FOR FILIPINO International Master (IM) Daniel Quizon to be worthy of gaining Grandmaster status, he needs to beat most of the GMs he plays.

The Southeast Asian Games bronze medal winner did just that yesterday after slaying third seed GM Vitaly Sivuk to enhance his title and GM aspirations in the MCPL’s Manny Pacquiao International Open Chess Festival in General Santos City.

The 18-year-old Dasmariñas, Cavite bet wielded the King’s Indian like a magic wand in bedazzling the 30-year-old Mr. Sivuk, born in war-thorn Ukraine but is representing Sweden, that earned him a place in a chase pack at No. 3 with four points after five rounds.

“I won in the middle game,” said the reigning Asian Juniors blitz prince.

Mr. Quizon will try to catch a bigger fish in top seed GMs Hovhannes Gabuzyan of Armenia in their sixth-round showdown at press time.

If he ends up doing a David to Mr. Gabuzyan’s Goliath, Mr. Quizon will bolster his chances of earning the second of three norms required to become a full-pledged GM and the champion’s loot worth a cool P1.14 million, the country’s biggest in decades courtesy of boxing legend Manny Pacquiao.

Mr. Gabuzyan was tied with second pick Dutch GM Lucas Van Foreest at No. 1 with 4.5 points apiece after the two ended up with a fighting draw.

Grouped with Mr. Quizon No. 4 seed GM Pier Luigi Basso of Italy, IM John Daniel Bryant of the United States and Filipino IMs Kim Steven Yap and Ricky de Guzman.

Mr. Basso clobbered IM Cris Ramayrat; Mr. Bryant waylaid Sherwin Tiu; Mr. Yap shocked GM Darwin Laylo; and Mr. De Guzman edged fancied GM John Paul Gomez.

At No. 9 with 3.5 points each were Russian-born FIDE-represented Konstantin Sek, IM Richilieu Salcedo, IM Michael Concio, Jr., FIDE Master Mari Joseph Turqueza, IM Eric Labog, Jr., Sheider Nebato and GM Joey Antonio. — Joey Villar