TAGAYTAY CITY — Grandmaster Wesley So failed to win the Asian Zone 3.3 Chess Championship after the final round draw with a Vietnamese rival here but found comfort after taking one of two slots to the World Chess Olympiad this August. Though he tried to extract a full point against GM Cao Sang, So was happy that their Four Knights Game ended in a 30-move draw. That, however, enabled second pick GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam to overtake him and win the event by half-a-point in the 9-round Swiss tournament. So, who is taking a break from his studies in the US, finished the event with seven points. He will join GM Oliver Barbosa in the Olympiad slated in Tromso, Norway. “Okay lang na draw. Tiniyak ko na kasi para makapasok sa World Cup,” said So, who finished with five wins and four draws.
Truong Son clinched the crown after toppling GM John Paul Gomez. The win also earned the Vietnamese a slot at the World Cup.
GM Joey Antonio halved the point with last year’s winner GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia after 30 moves of Nimzo-Indian Defense to finish tied for third to fourth places with his opponent with 6 points apiece. Rounding up the top 11 finishers with similar 5.5 points were GM Mark Paragua, Nelson Villanueva, GM Eugene Torre, International Master Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa and FIDE Master Gombusruen Munkhgal of Mongolia, GM Darwin Laylo, and Sang. Meanwhile, WGM Nguyen Thi Thanh An of Vietnam lost to WIM Catherine Pereña but still won the women’s division title with 6.5 points.
The win also gave Thanh An a slot to the Olympiad.