Haridas starts his quest for GM title
Harley Palangchao

Young International Master Haridas Pascua starts his two-year quest to become a full Grand Master when he competes in Dubai later this month.

The 20-year-old Information Technology student of University of Baguio has high hopes he will follow the footsteps of his friend super GM Wesley So when he sees action in the Dubai Open.

The Dubai World Rapid and Blitz Championship, set during the last two weeks of June, will see equally and well-funded wood pushers from around the world.

Pascua, the 18th Filipino GM, is eyeing to compete in at least five to six international competitions in two years with hopes he would earn the three norms needed to become a full GM.

A norm in chess is a high level of performance in a tournament. Several norms are one of the requirements to receive a title such as grandmaster – the highest title a chess player can attain – from the international organization Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), also known as the World Chess Federation.

His IM title is expected to be officially conferred by Switzerland-based FIDE by August after he paid the necessary fee compliments of Middle East-based Filipino architect Wenceslao Coderes.

“We just hope that my son will become a full GM,” said Bert Pascua, who also thanked his son’s benefactors like UB, the city government of Baguio, and Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino.

Pascua is few months So’s senior but the latter, who is more or less financially capable, is now ranked 15th best player in the world with an ELO rating of 2,700 plus, the highest for all Filipino chess wizards.

Pascua and So grew up together in the world of chess but the UB student remains winless against So, who beat him in at least five outings.

It took Pascua at least two years to earn his IM title eligibility.

In August 2010, Pascua took his first norm by playing good in the 6th Pichay Cup in Manila in August of that year. He earned 4.5 points in the nine-round tournament where he drew with three GMs and drew with then IM Ronald Dableo.

Dableo is now a GM candidate after getting three GM norms.

In Oct. 17, 2011, he also capped his second norm when he made 5.5 points in nine rounds of the 2nd Indonesian Open Chess Championship where he beat two GMs, Cao Sang of Vietnam and compatriot Mark Paragua.

Source: http://www.baguiomidlandcourier.com.ph

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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