Thursday, July 30, 2009

Laylo, So clinch World Cup berths
The Philippine Star, July 30, 2009 12:00 AM

HO CHI MINH City, Vietnam – GMs Darwin Laylo and Wesley So capped another solid campaign by the Filipino bets in the Asian Zone 3.3 Chess Championships, finishing 1-2 and claiming the two berths in the World Cup.

Laylo toppled second seed GM Zhang Zhong of Singapore to rule the nine-round tournament with eight points at the First Hotel here Wednesday and secure his second stint in the World Cup slated in Russia late this year.

So drew with GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam to finish second with 6.5 points and capture the other World Cup berth staked in the tournament.

Laylo and So thus join GM Joey Antonio in the World Cup, marking the first time that three Filipinos will compete in the tough event featuring the world’s top players.

Antonio earlier clinched a World Cup slot with a strong finish in the Asian Individual Chess Championship in Subic earlier this year.

“This is another big achievement in chess. We have three players in the coming World Cup for the first time in history,” said National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president Butch Pichay.

In the eight round, Laylo defeated IM Duong The Anh and So whipped IM Nguyen Minh Huy.
Five players, led by Truong Son and another Filipino campaigner GM Mark Paragua, finished in a five-way tie for third with six points.

Paragua trounced CM Nguyen Hoang Nam of Vietnam while IM Richard Bitoon and IM Rolando Nolte wound up with five points and GM Eugene Torre had 4.5 points.

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