So downed International Master Roland Nole then added GM Jayson Gonzales to his growing list of victims in the fourth and fifth rounds played at the Dapitan City Resort Hotel in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte.
With the way the 15-year-old chess phenomenon is playing he could probably be on the way of bagging his second straight title following his victory in the Barley Open rapid chess tournament held at the Gateway Mall in Araneta last week.
So needed 27moves of the Slave to dispatch Nolte then battled behind the black pieces to beat Gonzales after 51 moves of another Slav match.
So has so far won his last five matches, including those against GMs Buenaventura “Bong” Villamayor, John Paul Gomez and Eugene Torre in the first three rounds to earn 10 points based on the tournament scoring system that gives two points for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss.
The pride of Cavite will next face GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. in the sixth round. Antonio defeated Gonzales in 62 moves of a Nimzowitsch in the fourth round and split the points with GM Darwin Laylo in 27 moves of the Nimzo Indian in the fifth.
So far Antonio has yet to suffer a defeat after five matches and is behind So with seven points based on two wins and three draws.
Gomez and Laylo again settled for draws to accumulate six points and are tied for the third to fourth spots.
Gomez halved the point with GM Mark Paragua by repetition in only 15 moves of the English in the fourth round and IM Julio Catalino Sadorra in a tiring 76 moves of the Queen’s Gambit Accepted in the fifth.
Laylo, on the other hand, halved the point with IM Richard Bitoon in 87 moves of the English in their fourth round match.
Meanwhile, Torre immediately went back to winning after a third-round loss to So and defeated IM Ronald Dableo in 46 moves of the King’s Indian Attack in the fourth.
But Asia’s first GM just could not break Paragua in the fifth round and settled for a draw to earn five points with his win, three draws and a defeat.
His five points allowed him to join Paragua, Bitoon and Nolte for fifth to eight spots.
In another exciting match, Villamayor outplayed Bitoon in 79 moves of the Queen’s Gambit to tie for the ninth to 10th places with Sadorra with four points. – GMANews.TV
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– GM Susan Polgar