The DYTM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters proved a huge success with three grandmaster norms producing two new Grandmasters in Oliver Barbosa and Richard Bitoon from the Philippines and confirming one International Master in Uzbekistan’s Jahongir Vakhidov.
It was a dramatic victory for Bitoon, who was on the verge of losing another chance to become a full-fledged GM when Barbosa got his third and final GM norm after winning his Round 7 match against Vietnam IM Nguyen Van Huy last Friday.
Coming into the final Round 9 with 5.5 points and facing a formidable opponent in GM Tahir Vakhidov (2485) of Uzbekishtan, Bitoon was facing a win or bust situation as he played his favorite black piece.
But his determination and focus parried the pressure as he came out victorious after throwing everything he had against the Uzbek GM to win the game and bag his final GM norm after finishing the tournament with 6.5 points.
Round 9 video and interview with the winner Oliver Barbosa