TUGUEGARAO, Cagayan, Philippines — Top seed Grandmaster Wesley So swept his first four assignments with relative ease to take the lead in the 2010 PACE-Tuguegarao Open chess championships at the Paseo Reale Mall along Rizal Avenue here.
So, still fresh from a respectable showing in the 39th World Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, made short work of his lower-rated opponents in the first four rounds to remain in the hunt for the P20,000 champion’s purse out of the P100,000 total prize put up by the Philippine Academy for Chess Excellence in cooperation with Compuserve Land Surveying and Development Co. and the Tuguegarao provincial government.
Equally impressive were GM Rogelio Antonio Jr., GM Darwin Laylo, International Master Oliver Barbosa, IM Rolando Nolte, NM Ronald Llavanes and youth standout Mari Joseph Turqueza, who also won all their four games.
GM John Paul Gomez posted three wins and one draw to lead three other players in joint eighth with 3.5 points.
Seventh seed IM Barlo Nadera and No. 8 IM Oliver Dimakiling had three points in four rounds.
“It’s a big honor for us to play here,” said So, who celebrated his 17th birthday with fellow players last Saturday.
So, the country’s highest-rated player with an Elo of 2668, will have his first acid test when he meets Nolte in the fifth round.
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