WESLEY SO SHARES TOP HONORS IN REYKJAVIK CHESS MEET; JOINS ELITE HYDRA GRANDMASTER’S GROUP
By Marlon Bernardino
PhilBoxing.com Thu, 28 Feb 2013
Manila — WORLD CUP bound GM Wesley Barbasa So (ELO 2684) made the country proud anew when he finished in a tie for first to third places in the just concluded 28th Reykjavik Open chess championship Wednesday night at Harpa, the 28.000 sqm. concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The 19-year-old Bacoor, Cavite whiz kid made a quick draw against GM Pavel Eljanov (ELO 2678) of Ukraine using the disadvantageous black pieces in just three (3) moves of Gruenfeld defense according to National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) Chairman/President Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr. who watch the game thru live internet to finish unbeaten record with 8.0 points on six wins, four draws in the prestigious ten (10) round Swiss-system event which attracted 227 players.
Eljanov said to the official website that he was planning to “play a little”, but when his opponent (GM Wesley Barbasa So) offered the draw, he saw no reason to decline.
“Tinangap ni GM (Pavel) Eljanov ang draw offer Ni GM (Wesley) So para mag tie for first sila kasama yung Egyptian Grandmaster (Bassem Amin) na nanalo naman sa last round,” added Pichay, who is also a member of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) board of trustees under the leadership of Jose’ Peping” Cojuangco Jr.
GM Bassem Amin of Egypt toppled GM Grzegorz Gajewski of Poland after 52 moves of Sicilian defense to match the eight points marker of So and Eljanov.
The Filipino champion who notch a Rating Performance of 2753, however, finished only second in the Buchholz tiebreak that was topped by Eljanov while Amin wound up in third place. But most important, the Webster University freshman student joined the elite Hydra Grandmaster group, affixed name to those player who reached 2700 elo mark.
“This is the first time na may Filipinong nakaabot ng 2700 Elo rating points sa katauhan ni Wesley na may live rating 2701,” explained Pichay.
Eljanov, So and Amin shared 8,250 Euros according to the Hort system (Eljanov had the best Bucholz and therefore received slightly more prize money).
Rounding up to the top eleven (11) place with 7.5 points each were No.4 GM Anish Giri of the The Netherlands, No.5 GM Ivan Cheparinov of Bulgaria, No.6 IM Wei Yi of China, No.7 GM Marcin Dziuba of Poland, No.8 GM Ding Liren of China, No.9 NM Yaacov Norowitz of the USA, No.10 GM Gawain Jones of England and No.11 GM Ivan Sokolov of the Netherlands.
IM Wei Yi of China, 14, formally secured his 3rd & final GM norm scoring 7.0/9 and a Rating performance (Rp) of 2661.
So’s campaign is backed up by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) headed by it’s Chairman/President Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr., Secretary-General Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino Jr. and Executive Director GM Jayson Gonzales.
The tournament serves as So’s build up for the 2013 World Chess Cup scheduled on August 10 to September 5 in Tromso, Norway. Joining So in the World Chess Cup is fellow GM Oliver Barbosa. -Marlon Bernardino-