Battle of GMs 2010

Wesley So leads the grandmasters field

Wesley So sq

Newly crowned Aeroflot Open top junior player Wesley So seeks a third title in a row at the 2010 Battle of GMs chess championships that will take place March 15-22 in Manila.

NCFP president-chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay said So is expected to put up another strong performance in the Battle of GMs like what he did in the past two years.

But Pichay said he expects the rest of the participants to give the highly rated So a “run for his money this time.”

Pichay and NCFP secretary-general and Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino have been invited to grace the opening ceremony in Dapitan City, a scenic Mindanao City where national hero Dr. Jose Rizal was once exiled.

Expected to give So a hard time are GMs Rogelio Antonio Jr., who finished runner-up last year, Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre and reigning Asian Zone 3.3 champion GM Darwin Laylo.

Like So, Antonio and Laylo also saw action in the recent World Chess Cup held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia last December, where the Chess Olympiad 2010 will take place.

The other players in the men’s division are GMs John Paul Gomez, Mark Paragua, Jayson Gonzales and Bong Villamayor, IMs Ronald Dableo, Richard Bitoon and Rolando Nolte and FM Haridas Pascua.

In the women’s division, WFM Shercila Cua defends her crown against an equally tough field which includes younger sister WFM Sherily Cua and Cheradee Chardine Camacho and WIM Beverly Mendoza.

The other participants in the female division are WFMs Catherine Perena and Cherry The other participants in the female division are WFMs Catherine Perena and Cherry Ann Mejia, WNMs Daisy Rivera, Christy Lamiel Bernales, Jedara Docena, Jan Jodilyn Fronda, Loreshyl Quizon and Akiko Charmaine Suede.

A guaranteed cash prize of P800,000 will be at stake in the tournament with the champion in the men’s division bringing home the top prize of P200,000 and the winner in the women’s category pocketing P60,000.

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