MANILA, Philippines—Topple Wesley So.
That will be the battlecry of other contenders in the Battle of GMs chess championships slated March 24 to 31 in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte.
The 15-year-old So, the country’s highest-rated player with an Elo of 2627, will again be the favorite when the country’s top male and female players compete for nearly P1 million in prizes.
Raring to end the domination of So, winner of Group C of last month’s Corus Chess Tournament in The Netherlands and top junior player in the recent Aeroflot Open in Moscow, are veteran GMs Eugene Torre and Rogelio “Joey” Antonio and dependable GMs Mark Paragua and John Paul Gomez.
Also expected to figure prominently are GMs Darwin Laylo, Bong Villamayor and Jayson Gonzales.
The annual tournament of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines under president Prospero “Butch” Pichay and secretary general Mayor Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino is being held in cooperation with the Dapitan City government.
Catherine Perena is the top seed in the female division of the event to be held at the Pavilion Hotel in Dapitan City.
For inquiries, call NCFP executive director Willie Abalos at 0929-2266210 and 0928-5513089.
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– GM Susan Polgar