By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Four Filipino chessers advanced to the next round of their respective divisions in the FIDE Online Rapid World Cup Cadets & Youth Chess Championships over the weekend.
Wayne Ruiz advanced to the Open 14-under playoff round after ending up in a six-player logjam for second place in the preliminaries.
Ruiz banked on his last-round victory over Kazakhstan’s Edgar Mamedov in a marathon 84 moves of a Sicilian encounter to finish with 8 points.
Lexie Grace Hernandez also advanced to the knockout stage in the girls 16-under division.
Also barging into the Round of 16 knockout phase were Jersey Marticio and April Joy Claros in the girls’ 14-under.
Marticio claimed the top seeding after finishing with 8.5 points highlighted by a 10th-round victory in the prelims against Woman FIDE Master Kai Ni Agnes Chong of Malaysia.
The 14-year-old prevailed after 22 moves of a Slave Defense.
Claros, meanwhile, advanced after finishing tied for sixth with 7.5 points.
WESLEY PLACES 4TH
Meantime, Grandmaster Wesley So finished in fourth behind eventual champion and fellow American Hikaru Nakamura in the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz of the Grand Chess Tour on Sunday.
So tallied 4.5 points in the last 9 of the 18-round blitz section for an 18.5-point total behind Nakamura’s 23.5-point performance.
The Cavite-born woodpusher pocketed $15,000 (around P758,000) for his feat along with seven Tour points, enough for him to leapfrog France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave for the overall tour lead with 28.5 points
United States’ Fabiano Caruana came in second with 20 points while Hungary’s Richard Rapport settled for third with 19 points.
In the last day of the blitz event, So prevailed over American Leiner Dominguez-Perez and Sam Shankland to make up for his defeat at the hands of Azerbaijan’s Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.
He drew with Vietnam’s Le Quang Liem, Nakamura, Caruana, tAmerican Jeffery Xiong and Russian Peter Svidler.
Overall, So scored nine points in the rapid event and five in the first of the two-blitz part.
So will have a one-day break before competing in the $325,000 Sinquefield Cup, a 10-player classical tournament set to unfurl on Wednesday also in Saint Louis, Missouri.