Tuesday, January 23, 2007

GM Paragua Breaks Silence

Marlon Bernardino today submitted his latest report on the "game fixing" scandal in RP chess. Here is a portion of that report.

AFTER weeks of shying away from the issue, Grandmaster Mark Paragua finally broke his silence as he categorically denied involvement in the game-fixing controversy that has rocked the Philippine chess community.

In breaking his silence, Paragua defended himself from accusation that he, along with International Masters Ronald Dableo and Darwin Laylo, and a handful of low-ranked players connived with each other to fix the tournaments in their favor.

“Walang katotohanan ‘yan. Hinding-hindi ako nag-game fixing sa kahit na anong tournament na sinalihan ko,” blurted Paragua.

The 22-year-old former Super GM, currently the country’s top player with an Elo of 2573, said that he is willing to face the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) board to prove his innocence on the charges.

“Hindi ako natatakot humarap kahit kanino at handa akong patunayan na wala akong kasalanan sa ibinibintang nila,” he said.

“Ang alam ko kagagawan lang ‘yan ng ibang player at official na naiingit sa amin, lalo na ‘yung mga player na hindi maka-pwesto pag kasali kami sa tournament,” he added.

In the last year’s Tanauan Open, the tournament which several NCFP officials said to be where the evidence of rampant game-fixing is strong, Paragua said that he did not deliberately dropped his final round match with the eventual champion IM Chito Garma.

“Talagang tinalo kami ni Garma dahil ang ganda talaga ng nilalaro niya nun. Kahit ng sina (GMs) Eugene (Torre) and Joey (Antonio) ay tinalo n’ya at si (Richard) Bitoon lang ang nakatabla sa kanya.” said the Quezon City based woodpusher.

“So kung sinasabi nilang may game-fixing na nangyari dun bakit kami lang ang iniimbetigahan, bakit hindi nila din imbestigahan ‘yung iba na tinalo ni Garma,” he explained.

Apologies in advance to our English-only readers. But basically, Paragua says that he's ready to face his accusers and prove his innocence. The grandmaster also emphatically asserts that Chito Garma did beat him fair and square.


Anonymous said...

There should be a complete investigation on this matter.

The parties alleging improprieties against GM Paragua, and others better have good solid proof.

As the Philippines's top GM, Paragua has no reason to compromise his prestige and position for measly pesos, or whatever favors.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for GM Paragua and company. This is all because of jealousy since the “Old Guards” can not dominate in RP Tournaments anymore; they use their influence on some NCFP officials to discredit GM Paragua et al.

These Old Guards in Philippine Chess played poorly in the most recent GMA Cup, making excesses that they don’t feel well. The same old lines by GM you know who.

Anonymous said...

The old guards have nothing else to prove. Instead of back stabbing, the RP old guard GM's need to step back and help the young talents, like Wesley.

The Chinese have such a program, like this one for 12 years old girl prodigy, as published in Chessbase:

"Hou Yifan
Date of Birth: 27/04/1994
Country: China
World Ranking: 872
Rating: 2481

The seemingly always-cheerful Yifan started playing chess at age 6, and was quickly singled out as a super talent. She moved to Beijing after getting accepted to the distinguished National chess center, and is under the watchful eye of GM Ye Jiangchuan – one of China’s leading players.

The youngest participant in all 3 Corus GM groups, the young girl from Beijing is rising faster than a speeding spacecraft. In the July 2005 list her rating was 2158, and only a year later it ‘bullet trained’ 330(!) points nearing the 2500 mark! How do you ask? Well, for example there was her tie for second in the Chinese women’s championships (16.5/28) winning a cool 121 points. Her head turning performance in the Olympiad in Turin (11/13) netted her another hefty 68 points. At the Women’s world knockout championships she made it to the third round of play, and 29 additional points, if to name a few.

Of course all this doesn’t yet take into account her excellent play at the World Girls championship in Yerevan in October where she won the Silver medal with 9/13. Also, she was the highest scoring female in the China-Russia summit match earlier this year Hou won the 2003 world championships for girls under 10, and tied for first (third on tiebreaks) in the boys’ section for the same age group the following year. Indeed the future is bright for this 12 year-old!"

Why did the Philippine chess establishment not develop Arianne Caoili?

RP's venerable GM Torre should team up with Pichay and start a government development program for RP's young talents.