By Jean Malanum

BOARD MASTER. Filipino Kim Zafra (right) is congratulated by tournament director Jonas Sandbom for winning the Rilton Cup international chess tournament at Scandic Continental Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden on Jan 5, 2024. Zafra is based in Estonia. (Contributed photo)

MANILA – Estonia-based Filipino Kim Zafra won the Rilton Cup chess tournament at Scandic Continental Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden on Jan. 5.

Zafra earned 6.5 points from six wins and one draw in the FIDE Standard-rated event applying 90 minutes plus 30 seconds increment.

He place third in the 2023 edition, won by Lavinia Valcu of Sweden..

Jordanian Almaaaqbeh Ezeldeen and Swedish William Gunnare came in next with 6 points each, followed by Sweden’s Åkerström Björn, Nödtveidt Svante, Hede Martin and Gore Rohan, and India’s Arsi Shiva and Bychkov Zwahlen Nicholas (5.5).

Molin Nils (Sweden), Daniel Tiedemann (USA), Abu-Mahfouz Mazen (Jordan), Reque Garcia Marcos (Spain) and Brade Henry (Finland) had identical 5.0 points in the event organized by the Stockholm Chess Federation.

Filipino Carl Benjamin Valdez scored 4.5 points to finish No. 28 among 106 entries.

“I would like to dedicate my victory to my countrymen,” the 41-year-old Zafra said.

Zafra, who is mentored by Chester Caminong, prevailed over Swedish players Kjell Jernselius (Round 1), Victor Kämpe (Rd 2), Yohan Thamarai (Rd 3), Anders Paulsson (Rd 4), Ram Srinivasson (Rd 5) and Svante Nödtveidt (Rd 7), and drew with Ezeldeen (Rd 6).

The Rilton Cup was first held in 1971 after a donation by physician and chess player Tore Rilton, who wanted to give young Swedish players a chance to play against foreigners. (PNA)