Lopez bags 2 rapid golds in Paragames chess

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Monday, January 20, 2014


HENRY Roger Lopez of the Philippines ended his 7th Asean Para Games stint in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar by bagging two gold medals in men's PD (physical disability) chess rapid event over the weekend.

The sixth-seeded Lopez, who hails from Panabo City, earned five points along with compatriot Sander Severino. But Lopez emerged champion via superior tiebreaks and by virtue of direct encounter as he defeated Severino in their fourth round match.

It can be recalled that Severino beat Lopez when they played against each other in the standard event where the former clinched the individual gold as the latter took the silver.

Azhar Panjaitan of Indonesia salvaged the bronze with four points while Chuah Heng Meng of Malaysia, Alfrets Dien of Indonesia and Alexis Elinon of the Philippines placed fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

In the team event, the trio of Lopez, Severino and Elinon combined for 13.5 points to pocket the gold over Indonesia's Panjaitan, Dien and Sudirman who totaled 10.5 points for the silver and Malaysia that settled for bronze.

Lopez, 33, in a Facebook chat interview yesterday, said, "I think I played much better this time. In the last Para Games in Indonesia, I won two silvers in both standard and rapid events."

He hauled a total of three golds and one silver for the country in the Myanmar Para Games.

"I was able to survive the sternest test of my opponents in rounds 3,4,5,6 in rapid play," said Lopez who is in his senior year in law school.

He, however, stopped his law studies after his father's untimely death last year but looks forward to resume it when classes open in June.

Lopez kept his unbeaten slate with four wins over third-seeded Panjaitan of Indonesia, 11th-seeded Severino, 12th-ranked Sudirman of Indonesia and 14th-ranked Thassanamethin Me Thavee of Thailand and two draws with top-seeded Elinon and second-seeded Dien in the six-round Swiss System format chessfest.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 21, 2014.

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