24 April 2010

Asian Chess Championships: So stays at helm with third win

Grandmaster Wesley So added IM Oliver Barbosa to his growing list of victims as he fashioned out a 56-move victory for his third win in row and a share of the lead with GM Yu Yangyi of China in the Asian Individual Chess Championships at the Subic Exhibition and Convention Center in Subic yesterday.

So wisely steered the game out of a drawish endgame of a Slav by forcing an exchange of queens before the first time control to produce more active two rooks and two bishops plus a pawn against Barbosa’s two rooks and two knights.

“He (Barbosa) made a slight mistake in the opening that’s why I was able to force an exchange of queens. Before the exchange, the position is unclear,” said So, who plans to skip college this school year to pursue his chess career.

Yu outsteadied IM S.P. Sethuraman of India to hike his total to three points for joint lead in the nine-round tournament organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) in cooperation with the Philippine Sports Commission, Department of Tourism, PCSO, Pagcor and the Subic Bay Metrpolitan Authority.

Half a point with 2.5 points is GM Ni Hua, who beat Allan Macala.

The two other local bets in the last World Cup – GMs Rogelio Antonio Jr. and Darwin Laylo –drew their respective matches.

Antonio, who finished tied for third in the same qualifying tournament here last year, split the point with fellow GM Nguyen Anh Dung of Vietnam in 26 moves of the Reti.

Laylo, the reigning Asian Zone 3.3 champion, also halved the point with untitled Shanglei Lu of China.

GM John Paul Gomez was also held to a draw by GM Das Neelotpal of India .

In women’s play, Akiko Suede toppled WFM Khouloud Essa Al-Zarouni of UAE to post her first win after back-to-back losses.

Cristy Lamiel Bernales and Aices Salvador agreed to a draw in an all-Filipina showdown, while WIM Beverly Mendoza lost to WIM Kiran Moharty of India. (The Philippine Star)