CEBUANO IM Kim Steven Yap secured an individual gold medal while helping the Tagaytay Chess Club capture the silver medal in the 2014 Asian Club Team Chess League in Al Ain, UAE.

Yap, who was assigned to play Board 1, defeated GM Petr Konstantin of the second-seeded Tokkata Team of Kazakhstan to secure the gold medal as the top Board 2 player.

Yap’s win lifted the team to a 2.5-1.5 victory over the all-GM squad and increased their tally to 11 points.

The team finished second in the tournament participated by eight champion teams in Asia.

Top seed Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) of India won the team gold with 13 points, while Tokkata bagged the bronze with 10 points.

Coming from a loss to IM Gary W. Lane of Western Sydney of Australia in Round 6, Yap was more focused and resolved as he played the Giuoco Piano opening, which is also known as the “Quite Game,” to force Konstantin to yield after the 31st move.

“I used the Giuoco Opening. It prevents the black from advancing in the center. He made a blunder when he took my rook. It (rook) was really intended as a sacrifice piece,” Yap told Sun.Star Cebu.

Konstantin was left to play for survival and wait for a blunder from Yap that never came.

In the 24th move, Konstantin made a desperation move when he checked Yap’s King and that hastened his downfall.

Konstantin was Yap’s third GM opponent he defeated. The others were Super GM Krishnan Sasikiran of PSPB and GM Bin-Sattar Reefat of Bangladesh Navy Chess Club and his performance could have earned him a much-needed GM norm.

However, the tournament did not reach the minimum number of rounds required for a GM norm.

“Sayang lagi. Nine rounds man gud kinahanglan para sa norm. Pero happy lang pud ko sa result kay at least mosaka man sad akong rating,” Yap added.

Yap’s performance ratings in the tournament was 2679, enough to earn an additional 22 points on his current 2419 Fide rating.

The Pangasinan-native FM Haridas Pascua, who took over Board 2, defeated GM Anuar Ismagambetov; Quezon Ciy’s IM Emmanuel Senador drew with GM Pavel Kotsur in Board 3, while Quezon City’s FM Mari Joseph Turqueza lost to GM Rustam Khusnutdinov in Board 4.

IM Rolando Nolte also of Quezon City, who used to play Board 1, was not fielded.