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Mark Paragua

Full name Mark Callano Paragua
Country Philippines
Born March 29, 1984
Title Grandmaster
Peak rating 2621 (April 2006)

Mark Callano Paragua (born March 29, 1984) is a Filipino chess grandmaster. He was born to Flordeliza Callano and Ricardo Paragua, the latter of whom is also his coach. The father and son travel around the world to participate in international tournaments. He currently resides both in the city of Meycauayan and the adjacent town of Marilao in the province of Bulacan.

At the 1998 Disney World Rapid Chess Championship for Kids, held November 15-17 at the EuroDisney theme park in Paris, Paragua and Bu Xiangzhi each finished first with 7½ points in the boys' 14 and under section, with Paragua taking the gold medal on tiebreak points.

He was the youngest Filipino master ever, at nine years of age. He also became the youngest Filipino GM ever at 20 (until Wesley So surpassed it), beating out Eugenio Torre's record by about two years.

Paragua qualified for the 2004 World Championship in Tripoli, Libya, where he was eliminated by Viktor Bologan of Moldova in the first round 1-3. He also qualified for World Cup Chess 2005 (qualifying tournament for world championship). He upset Armenian GM Sergei Movsesian in the first round before narrowly losing in the tie breaker against Alexey Dreev of Russia in the second round (Paragua drew both his games against Dreev in the regulation)

Paragua become the first Filipino to reach 2600 FIDE after he placed second in the Asian Zonal 3.3 Chess Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Paragua finished the nine-round Swiss system event with 7 points after a draw with Singaporean GM Wu Shaobin. In January 2006 FIDE listed Paragua with a rating of 2618 enough to get him in the top 100, but his rating has since dropped to 2521.

He played for the Philippines in the Chess Olympiads of 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2012. In the 2002 edition, Paragua scored 7 1/2 on the strength of 5 wins, 5 draws and 2 losses with a Performance Rating (PR) of 2503 in Board 4, way beyond his then ELO rating of 2476. In the 2004 edition, Paragua again scored 7 1/2 points registering 6 wins, 3 draws and 4 losses with a PR of 2556 as compared to his ELO rating then of 2534 playing Board 3. In 2006, Paragua played the top Board for Team Philippines for the first time in his career. He scored 4 1/2 points with 2 wins, 5 draws and 4 losses. He had a PR of 2530 which was way below his 2617 ELO rating at that time, enough to make him a member of the elite Super Grandmasters. In 2012, Paragua played Board 4 scoring 6 points on the strength of 3 wins, 6 draws and 2 losses with a PR of 2561 as compared to his 2508 ELO rating.

In his most recent tournament, the 42nd Annual World Open held at Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Arlington, Virginia, he tied for 8th-13th places eventually placing 12th after tiebreaks scoring 6 points on 5 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses in a tie with among others Gata Kamsky of the United States, Lazaro Bruzon of Cuba and Victor Laznicka of Czech Republic.

Notable games