At least a silver for WFM Jose; Wesley So beaten
PALEMBANG, Indonesia—Two-time national titlist Woman Fide Master Rulp Ylem Jose drew with Malaysian Camilia Bt Johari late Saturday and assured herself of at least the silver medal in standard chess in the 26th Southeast Asian Games at the Swama Dwipa Hotel here.
Highly touted Grandmaster Wesley So, however, bowed to Indonesian GM Susanto Megaranto, the reigning Asian Zone 3.3 champion, and virtually blew his title chances in the men’s event.
The 22-year-old Jose, a former stalwart of Far Eastern University, climbed to 2.5 points after three games and needs only to draw with Vietnamese Woman International Master Nguyen Thi Mai Hung in the fourth and final round Sunday night to bag the title in the single round robin competition.
Indonesian Woman Grandmaster Irine Kharisma Sukandar, beaten by Jose in the second round, downed Isawan Srijomtong of Thailand to rise to 1.5 points in the company of Nguyen.
Megaranto, whom So has beaten many times in the past, including a one-on-one match in Jakarta, improved his record to 3.0 points and needs only to draw his last two games to bag the gold.
Granting that So, with 2.0 points, sweeps his last games and also finishes with 4.0 points, Megaranto will still emerge champion by virtue of the winner-over-the-other rule.
Tied with So were GM Cao Sang of Vietnam and FM Kyaw Lin Naing of Myanmar.
So will try to compensate when he competes in blitz play with GM Mark Paragua on Monday.
In men’s rapid play, GMs Oliver Barbosa and Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr. fell out of contention for the gold with 4.0 points each after seven rounds. Vietnamese GM Le Quang Liem led with 6.0 points with two rounds to go.
WIM Catherine Pereña and WFM Cherry Ann Mejia also bowed out of contention for the women’s rapid gold.
The Filipinos have contributed two silvers, through GM John Paul Gomez in the blindfold event and the mixed standard team of Barbosa and Pereña.
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