So regains Asian Zonal top spot


Individual Standings after round 5: 4.5 points—GM Wesley So (PH); 4.0—GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (Vietnam); 3.5—GM Susanto Megaranto (Indonesia), FM Gombosuren Munkhgal (Mongolia), GM Darwin Laylo (PH), GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. (PH), IM Nguyen Doc Hoa (Vietnam); 3.0—FM Haridas Pascua (PH), GM Rogelio Barcenilla Jr. (PH), IM Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa (Mongolia), FM Tran Tuan Minh (Vietnam), IM Barlo Nadera (PH), GM John Paul Gomez (PH), GM Richard Bitoon (PH), FM Mari Joseph Turqueza (PH), GM Cao Sang (Vietnam), IM Nguyen Van Huy (Vietnam)

GRANDMASTER Wesley So downed International Master Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa of Mongolia in the fifth round on Friday to regain the solo lead in the Asian Zone 3.3 Chess Championship at Tagaytay International Convention Center.

So, the country’s highest-ranked player and the tournament’s top seed with an Elo rating of 2682, improved to 4.5 points,  half a point up on erstwhile coleader and second seed GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam, who halved the point with GM Darwin Laylo.

Sharing third to eighth places with 3.5 points each were defending champion GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia, FM Gombosuren Munkhgal of Mongolia, Laylo, 12-time national open champion GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. and IM Nguyen Doc Hoa of Vietnam.

Megaranto settled for a draw with Duc Hoa, Munkhgal upset GM Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam and Antonio edged countryman FM Haridas Pascua.

In other matches, GM Mark Paragua beat GM Eugene Torre, GM John Paul Gomez subdued FM Rudin Hamdani of Indonesia, US-based GM Rogelio Barcenilla Jr. routed Ravdanlkhumbuu Amgalanbaatar of Mongolia and FM Mari Joseph Turqueza shocked IM Rolando Nolte.

In the distaff side, Nguyen Thi Thanh An of Vietnam downed fellow Vietnamese Woman Grandmaster Nguyen Pham Le Thao to remain on top with 4.5 points in five outings.

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