Teen-age Grandmaster Wesley So widened his lead over his competitors after five rounds of play in the Battle of GMs at the Pavilion Hotel in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte province.
The 15-year-old So (ELO 2627) now has 5 points after back-to-back wins over International Master (IM) Rolando Nolte (ELO 2488) in the fourth round and GM Jayson Gonzales 2468 in the fifth.
The Bacoor-based chess player will battle in the sixth round GM Rogelio Antonio (ELO 2519), who is trailing him with 3.5 points on two wins and three draws.
The battle-tested Antonio scored a win over GM Jayson Gonzales (ELO 2468) in the fourth round before deciding to split the point with GM Darwin Laylo (ELO 2504).
Laylo is tied with UAAP’s Top Athlete GM John Paul Gomez at 3 points, while IMs Nolte and Richard Bitoon are levelled with GMs Eugene Torre and Mark Paragua at 2.5 points.
In the Women’s Pairings, Woman National Master Cristy Lamiel Bernales (ELO 2042) suffered two straight defeats against Woman Fide Master Sherlica (ELO 2155) in the fourth round and Woman International Master Beverly Mendoza (ELO 2045) in the fifth.
Bernales was riding high on three victories over Young Rida and WNMs Cuizon Loreshyl and Kimberly Cunanan before succumbing to the defeats.
The 11-round tournament is organized by Phoenix Petroleum and Dapitan City with Willie Abalos as Tournament Director.
At stake are cash prizes with the champion in the men’s division taking home P200,000 and the championship trophy.
Scores after Round 5
GM So (5 points)
GM Antonio (3.5 points)
GM Gomez (3 points)
GM Laylo (3 points)
IM Bitoon (2.5 points)
GM Paragua (2.5 points)
IM Nolte (2.5 points)
GM Torre (2.5 points)
GM Villamayor (2 points)
IM Sadorra (2 points)
GM Gonzales (1.0 points)
IM Dableo (0.5 points)
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– GM Susan Polgar