Torre downs Bandal in retro match in Tagaytay

November 05, 2018
Helen Milligan
The three female participants in the Asian Seniors Chess Championships -- Helen Milligan of New Zealand, Mila Emperado of thePhilippines and Almagul Chakeyeva of Kazakhstan -- concentrate on their games. Photos courtesy of Rey Nillama

Standings after two rounds:

(Philippines unless stated)

2 points -- E. Torre,  C. Garma, A. Young, T. Khin (Myanmar)

1.5 -- O. Rinas (Kazakhstan), C.Caturla, K. Jumadullayev (Kazakhstan),  S. Manaog, P. Roca,  C. Lorena,  E. Bagamasbad, A. Baimurzin (Kazakhstan),  R. Roullo.

TAGAYTAY City -- Asia's first GM Eugene Torre outwitted Rosendo Bandal in a battle between two veteran players with rich Olympiad experience to keep the lead in the 9th Asian Seniors Chess Championships at the Tagaytay International Convention Center here.

Torre, at 67 still the country’s most-recognizable player after more than four decades, defeated Bandal in 49 moves of the Bogo Indian to share the lead with IMs Chito Garna  and Angelo Young and Than Khin of Myanmar with two wins in as many rounds.

Facing an opponent three years his senior, Torre went on the attack after 36... g5, exchanging rook for a bishop to break the position open and forcing Bandal to struggle for the right continuation.

Bandal, a retired judge from a family with a strong chess tradition, resigned in an inferior endgame where he only had a rook and seven pawns against Torre’s rook, knight and six pawns.

Impressive as it was, the victory forced Torre to work a little harder.

“I spent a lot of time against him,” said Torre, referring to the 70-year-old law graduate from Dumaguete, who finished runner-up to Renato Naranja in the 1967 National Championship.

Veteran chess journalist Ignacio Dee said Bandal played solidly against Torre.

“Bandal, a fine counter-attacker during his time,  held position but played passively perhaps due to time pressure," said Dee in his commentary for popular social media group Chess Philippines.

Dee noted the Bandal clan is “a  very strong chess-playing family with his father a former national champion, elder sister a  national women’s champ and Rosendo Jr. a junior champ.”

Garma subdued FM Adrian Pacis, Young humbled FM Syarif Mahmud of Indonesia and Khin clobbered Hendry Jamal of Indonesia to join Torre in the lead in the nine-round toyrnament being held in this popular tourist destination noted for its cool climate.

Haifa Olympiad veteran NM Cesar Caturla drew with IM Aitkazy Baimurzin of Kazakhstan and IM Petronio Roca split the point with NM Efren Bagamasbad to lead seven other players with 1.5 points.

Also posting draws against higher-rated opponents are NM Carlo Lorena, who halved the point with second seed FM Oleg Rinas of Kazakhstan; and Stewart Manaog, who split the point with No. 8 Kuanishbek Jumadullayev of Kazakhstan.

Three-time women'champion Helen Milligan of New Zealand trounced Daniel Millare  to barge into the win column after opening-round loss to Caturla.

At stake in the tournament hosted by the Tagaytay City government thru Cavite 7th District Cong. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and Tagaytay Mayor Agnes Tolentino are cash prizes and medals.

The champion will bring home $500, the runner-up will earn $400, the  third  placer will pocket $300, the fourth  $200 and the fifth and sixth placers $150.

In the over-65, the champion will bring home $350, the runner-up $200, the third placer $150 and fourth and fifth placers $100.

The top female players will receive  $300 (over-50) and over-65 ($100).

Mike Lapitan is the tournament director, while Patrick  Lee is the supervising arbiter

Last year, Torre completed a rare nine-game sweep to capture the title in Auckland, New Zealand.

The Filipino champion finished a clear 2.5 points ahead of Ewen Green of New Zealand and compatriot Edmundo Legaspi.

The moves:

Round 2

R. Bandal vs. E.Torre

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Qe7 5.a3 Bxd2+ 6.Nbxd2 d6 7.e4 e5 8.Bd3 O-O 9.O-O a5 10.Re1 Na6 11.b4 Bg4 12.b5 Nb8 13.h3 Bxf3 14.Nxf3 Nbd7 15.Rc1 Rfe8 16.Qc2 b6 17.Qc3 Nh5 18.Rcd1 Nf4 19.Bf1 f6 20.g3 Ne6 21.h4 Qf7 22.Bh3 Re7 23.d5 Nec5 24.Re3 g6 25.Rf1 Rf8 26.Nd2 Qg7 27.Qc2 Kh8 28.Kg2 Qh6 29.Rh1 Qh5 30.Rf3 f5 31.Re1 Ref7 32.Ree3 f4 33.Rc3 Qh6 34.Qd1 Nf6 35.Qe2 Nh5 36.Bg4 g5 37.Bf5 Rxf5 38.exf5 g4 39.Rfd3 f3+ 40.Nxf3 Nxd3 41.Rxd3 gxf3+ 42.Rxf3 Rg8 43.Qe4 Nf6 44.Qe1 Qxh4 45.Qh1 Qxh1+ 46.Kxh1 Rg4 47.Rc3 h5 48.Kh2 Kg7 49.Kh3 Kh6                  0-1