Eight games into the National Finals to determine RP's Olympiad reps, the one time super-GM Mark Paragua has posted only a measly 3.5 points! Maybe it was the jet lag after a flight across the Pacific, maybe it was that tough stint in the 1st Marshall CC International (which he topped, by the way, after another Armageddon playoff), or both, but Paragua needs to absolutely pull his resources in if he wants another Olympiad berth for his country.
In the first round of the currently running tournament in the Philippines, Paragua was shocked by the 2174-rated Haridas Pascua.
Philippine National Finals
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 d6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 e5 6. Nb3 Be6 7. Be3 Nf6 8. Qd2 d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxd5 Qxd5 11. Qxd5 Bxd5 12. O-O-O O-O-O 13. f3 b6 14. Bb5 Kc7 15. c4 Be6 16. Rxd8 Nxd8 17. f4 Nc6 18. Rf1 f6 19. Nd2 Nb4 20. fxe5 Nd3+ 21. Kc2 Nxe5 22. Kc3 Kb7 23. Bf4 Bd6 24. Ne4 Bb8 25. c5 Rc8 26. b4 Bd5 27. Kd4 Rd8
28. Nd6+ Bxd6 29. Kxd5 Bxc5+ 30. Ke6 Rd6+ 31. Ke7 Bxb4 32. Bxe5 Rd5+ 33. Kf7 Rxb5 34. Bg3 Ra5 35. Kxg7 Rxa2 36. Kxh7 Rxg2 37. Rxf6 a5 38. Rg6 Bc3 39. Rg4 Be5 40. Kg6 Bxg3 41. hxg3 b5 42. Kf5 a4 0-1
With 9 rounds to go, Paragua has plenty of time to recover. Hopefully, he can. Current top standings, after round 8, are as follows:
4.5 Gonzales, Laylo, Bancod, Carlos