By Marlon Bernardino and Jolina Icao
GM Mark Paragua won solo first in the recently concluded five round 2015 Georgia State Championship in Atlanta. GA. Visiting from New York, Paragua faced strong players from Georgia led by GM Alonzo Zapata, who wound up at third place with a loss to Paragua in the third round. Paragua beat GM Alonzo in 27 moves of a Trompovsky. The Filipino grandmaster scored a total of 4.5 points.
Paragua also played with Ruifeng Li from Texas, rated 2530. "My best game in the tournament was my fourth round game with Ruifen," said Paragua. Playing black with a Sicilian Najdorf, Paragua made a speculative sacrifice and offered a rook to displace the queen, then sac a knight to open the king on the queen side followed by pawn sacrifice to open the diagonal for his queen. Paragua won the game in 30 moves when Li resigned as he was about to lose his queen.
Li tied for second with 4.0 points with Daniel Gurevich, who being the top Georgia resident, was declared the Georgia State Champion.
"GM is playing like the good old days," said Herky del Mundo who invited Mark to play in the tournament, "Paragua crushed GM Zapata's play in 27 moves with a Trompovsky." With the championship, Paragua's USCF rating rose to 2649. Del Mundo noted that Paragua's quality of play nowadays rivals his younger times when his FIDE rating was 2616. During the annual Georgia Chess Association meeting held in the same venue as the tournament, Del Mundo was elected as Secretary of the Georgia chess federation.-Marlon Bernardino and Jolina Icao-
[Event "Phillip Taylor 2015 Georgia State Championship"]
[Site "Board 1"]
[White "MARK C PARAGUA (2646)"]
[Black "ALONSO ZAPATA (2532)"]
[Result "1-0 (white won)"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 c5 3. d5 Ne4 4. Bf4 Qb6 5. Nd2 Nxd2 6. Bxd2 d6 7. e4a6 8. Bc3 Nd7 9. Nf3 Nf6 10. Nd2 Qc7 11. a4 e6 12. Bxf6 gxf6 13. Nc4b6 14. Qf3 Be7 15. dxe6 Bxe6 16. Ne3 c4 17. e5 Rc8 18. exf6 Bd8 19.Rd1 Qc5 20. c3 Qe5 21. Rd4 d5 22. Be2 Rc5 23. O-O h5 24. Rfd1 Bg425. Rxd5 Rxd5 26. Rxd5 Qe6 27. Qf4