MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Grand Master (GM) Wesley So regained the solo lead after seven rounds of the Asian Zone 3.3 Chess Championship late Sunday at the Tagaytay International Convention Center.
The 19-year-old So posted an impressive victory over International Master (IM) Nguyen Duc Hoa of Vietnam to raise his total to 6.0 points after seven rounds of chess.
Erstwhile co-leader and second seed GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam settled for a draw with GM Rogelio Antonio Jr.
Ngoc Truong Son improved his total to 5.5 points to remain at second place.
“Inaasahan natin na magiging mgadugo ang labanan sa top five ng board sa penultimate round ngayong Lunes,” said Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr., chairman and president of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.
The nine-round, Swiss-system event offers two slots for this year’s World Chess Cup in Norway.
“Sana Filipino ang manalo para madagdagan ang slots natin sa World Chess Cup,” Pichay said.
GM Oliver Barbosa is the only Filipino guaranteed of a slot in the tournament.
Meanwhile, GM Cao Sang of Vietnam defeated IM Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa of Mongolia to climb to a share of third to fourth places with Antonio after tallying 5.0 points each.
Sharing the fifth to eighth places with 4.5 points each were defending champion GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia and GMs Mark Paragua, John Paul Gomez and Darwin Laylo.
Antonio will face So in the eighth round of the tournament. -- By Marlon Bernardino