by: joeyj : 21 July 2012
To be a Top-seed in 2012 Toronto International Chess tournament is ‘no walk in the park’, as the expectation is at the uppermost, but Grandmaster Wesley So, the Philippines’ nr-1 chessplayer and the only player guaranteed a slot in the Philippines Open/Men National Team to the 2012 World Chess Olympiad 27Aug–10Sep in Istanbul, Turkey by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), lived up to his billing by winning the Crown Section of the 2012 Toronto International Chess Championship held 15-20 July at the Annex Chess Club, 918 Bathurst St., Toronto, Canada.
The Crown Section, hosted by Chess Institute of Canada is a FIDE Rated 7-Rounds “Standard” Swiss Event, was participated by 18 rated players (3 GMs, 5 IMs & 2 FMs) from 4 countries (Canada, Lithuania, Israel and Philippines).
GM Wesley So started without let-up storming the field despite great opposition from a bunch of Canada’s top rising and talented junior star players winning 3 straight rounds in a row before drawing the 4th round, then again, winning the next 2 rounds and finally nailing a solo 1st place and the top prize of $4,000 by agreeing a peace treaty with the tournament’s giant killer IM Arthur Calugar CAN (born 1994), who in previous rounds had slewed the two other GMs.
Wesley’s penultimate round-6 triumph against Tournament’s Nr 3 seed and Canada’s 3rd highest rated GM Bator Sambuev was a big win and a breather prior to his last round truce with IM Calugar to secure as the overall champion with a score of 6.0/7. IM Nokolay Noritsyn CAN scoring 5.5/7 finished 2nd placer followed by IM Artiom Samsonkin CAN (3rd), IM Arthur Calugar CAN (4th) and Lithuania’s Nr 1 Super GM Eduardas Rozentalis (5th) who all scored 5.0/7 and their final standings were determined by tie-break points.
Here’s GM Wesley So’s round-by-round results:
R1: 15Jul : GM Wesley So PHI (2650) Vs Michael Song CAN (2142) : 1-0
R2: 15Jul : IM Raja Panjwani CAN (2392) Vs GM Wesley So PHI (2650) : 0-1
R3: 16Jul : GM Wesley So PHI (2650) Vs IM Nikolay Noritsyn (2460) : 1-0
R4: 17Jul : IM Samsonkin Artiom CAN(2390) Vs GM Wesley So PHI(2650) : ½-½
R5: 18Jul : GM Wesley So PHI (2650) Vs Preotu Razvan CAN(2058) : 1-0
R6: 19Jul : GM Sambuev Bator CAN(2542) Vs GM Wesley So PHI(2650): 0-1
R7: 20Jul : IM Arthur Calugar CAN (2273) Vs GM Wesley So PHI(2650) : ½-½
GM Wesley So next stop will be the much tougher Invitational Section of the Quebec Open Chess Championship scheduled to take place from 21st to 28th July 2012 in College Brebeuf, Montreal, Canada.
On the distaff side, Webster University’s Chess Coach GM Susan Polgar (U.S. Top College Chess Coach) kibitz at chessgames.com on 19 July 2012, informed Barangay Wesley (BW) that “Wesley has passed his entrance requirements to Webster University!” and will be enrolling for the Academic Year 2012-2013 along with the other 7 Grandmasters that include GMs Georg Meier (Germany) & Ray Robson (USA). Wesley’s mom Leny So also had informed, in my recent chat with her, that her son passport is now with the U.S. Consulate in Toronto for his Student Visa application.