Tough matches for top seeds
The Candidates tournament, the second phase of the national championship, got underway last week at the Malta Chess Federation premises in Sliema.
Participants in the Candidates are vying for the four slots at stake for the championship finals which are scheduled for September. The qualifiers will join current champion Andrew Borg and runner-up Colin Pace in an all-play-all ten-round format.
David Cilia Vincenti, the no.1 seed, had a tough time to beat the returning John Richards. Their game took four hours to complete.
Veteran Harry Camilleri, the second seed, also had a very difficult time against Oliver Said and it was only through his experience in the end-game that he managed to hold his position and eventually change it into a win.
There were wins for Joe Gauci, Mark Cardona, Stephen Farrugia, Patrick Zerafa and Horace Cassar. The game between Matthew Saliba and Paul Mizzi ended in a draw.
D. Cilia Vincenti vs J. Richards 1-0; O. Said vs H. Camilleri 0-1; J. Gauci vs Sammut 1-0; F. Aguilera vs M. Cardona 0-1; S. Farrugia vs A. Ibrahim 1-0; M. Saliba vs P. Mizzi draw; P. Zerafa vs S. Sacco 1-0; C. Psaila vs H. Cassar 0-1.