WESLEY So, the world’s youngst grandmaster at 14 is leading the “Battle of GMs” held at the City State Hotel in Manila with 6.5 points after eight rounds with a win over fellow GM Buenaventura “Bong” Villamayor despite having the black pieces.
Eugene Torre drew with NM Oliver Barbosa to remain undefeated and Cebuano IM Richard Bitoon demolished Hamed Nouri in 33 moves of a Scotch to tie Eugene at second with 5.5 points.
GM Joey Antonio versus IM Julio Catalino Sadorra and IM John Paul Gomez against GM Jayson Gonzales are half a point behind after similar fighting draws. IM Rolando Nolte is now in solo sixth place after scalping FM Ferdie Donguines in 31 moves of an English opening.
“Masuerte ako ngayon,” said So, who is now rated 2561, an increase of 21 Elo over his April Fide rating of 2540 after winning the tough Dubai Open and a massacre of sorts over GM Susanto Megaranto, who qualified to the World Cup last year, in their one-on-one duel in Jakarta the other week.