Saturday, July 25, 2009

GM Darwin Laylo leads the 2009 Vietnam ChessZonals, GM Wesley So in solo second

GM Darwin Laylo is the sole leader of the Zonal 3,3 chess championship, taking place in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. GM Laylo is the only player with a perfect score after four rounds. He defeated Tran Ngoc Lan (ELO 2140), Vo Thanh Ninh (ELO 2340), his compatriot IM RIchard Bitoon (ELO 2495), and Bao Khoa (ELO 2161).

In second place is the top seed and the Corus 2009 group C winner GM Wesley So (ELO 2646). GM Wesley So started with a draw against FM Ly Hong Nguyen, but since then has scored three consecutive wins against FM Ton That Nhu Tung, CM Nguyen Van Huy, and FM Chan Wei-Xuan Timothy to collect 3,5/4 and become number 2 in the standings.

Draws in other top board plays left the chasing pack a full point behind Darwin Laylo and 1/2 point behind Wesley So. The top local player GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son held to a draw the second highest rated of the competition GM Zhang Zhong in the derby of the round.Filipino players GM Mark Paragua and GM Eugene Torre also had a peaceful match. Vo Thanh Ninh brought the surprise of the round after holding GM Susanto Megaranto to a draw.

This development will bring an interesting match in the 5th round between fellow Pinoy GMs Wesley So and Darwin Laylo for the provisional leadership in the standing. Other interesting encounters include GM Zhang Zhong - IM Bitoon, GM Mark Paragua - GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, and GM Eugenio Torre - IM Hafizulhelmi Mas.

The stakes at this year's Zonal 3.3 are high. It is a qualification for the Chess World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk, as the first two players qualify for the event and get a chance to compete for a place in the World Championship finals 2010 - 2011.

Standings after round 4
1 GM Laylo Darwin PHI 2494 4
2 GM So Wesley PHI 2646 3,5
3 GM Zhang Zhong SIN 2613 3
4 Bao Khoa VIE 2161 3
5 GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son VIE 2592 3
6 IM Bitoon Richard PHI 2495 3
7 IM Nguyen Huynh Minh Huy VIE 2500
8 GM Dao Thien Hai VIE 2552 3
9 GM Paragua Mark PHI 2487 3
10 GM Bui Vinh VIE 2517 3
11 FM Batchuluun Tsegmed MGL 2384 3
12 IM Duong The Anh VIE 2440 3
13 FM Ton That Nhu Tung VIE 2227 2,5
14 GM Torre Eugenio PHI 2560 2,5
15 GM Megaranto Susanto INA 2534 2,5
IM Mas Hafizulhelmi MAS 2391 2,5
17 Tran Ngoc Lan VIE 2176 2,5
18 CM Nguyen Van Huy VIE 2414 2,5
19 FM Chan Wei-Xuan Timothy SIN 2344 2,5
20 Vo Thanh Ninh VIE 2340 2,5
21 IM Nolte Rolando PHI 2458 2,5

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