Chess Piece — By Bobby Ang
Pinoy chess

The March 2011 rating list of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) is out. Here is the new top 10 of the Philippines:

1. GM Wesley So 2667
2. GM Rogelio Antonio Jr 2589
3. GM Mark Paragua 2547
4. GM John Paul Gomez 2538
5. GM Roland Salvador 2532
6. GM Darwin Laylo 2516
7. GM Joseph Sanchez 2513
8. IM Oliver Barbosa 2506
9. GM Eugene Torre 2495
10. IM Richard Bitoon 2480

Oliver Barbosa has finally hopped over the 2500 barrier. This is significant, because to become an International Grandmaster you have to achieve some GM norms and also bring your rating up to at least 2500. The latter is no easy task. For example IM Ronald Dableo attained all the required norms two years ago but up to now is not yet a GM because he is still in the 2400+ level.

Oliver was at one time the Philippines’ youngest National Master when he attained the title at the age of 11. He was considered a great potential with his creativity but his career stalled when he started mixing with a bad crowd. Hopefully he is now back at the right path.


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