Antonio, So and Laylo matched against strong GM players in World Cup’s first round

Antonio, So and Laylo matched against strong GM players in World Cup’s first round

By Jaime Pilapil

The three Filipino grandmasters who will see action in the prestigious World Chess Cup in Russia from Nov. 20 to Dec. 15 are up against formidable opponents right in the first round.

GM Rogelio Antonio (Elo 2574) is paired against GM Gata Kamsky (Elo 2695), the number 2 player of United States.

GM Darwin Laylo (Elo 2552) will square off against GM David Navara (Elo 2707), the top player of Chez Republic while GM Wesley So will face GM Gadiz Guseinov (Elo 2625), number 5 player of Azerbaijan.

A total of 128 players from more than 40 countries are participating in this year’s tournament. The winner will play in a semifinal match of the World Championship.

The World Cup will be held according to Olympic system consisting of six rounds with two games each. It’s a knockout system.

In 2007 World Cup, Laylo was eliminated in the first round match against Etienne Bacrot, 1½–½, of France who was then rated 2696, now 2700, according to November FIDE rating.

Antonio, 46, earned his World Cup trip by finishing third in the 2009 Asia Continental Chess Championship.

Laylo, 29, and So, 16, meanwhile, gained entry to the World Cup by finishing first and second, respectively, in the Asian Zonal 3.3 held in Vietnam last July.

Antonio, So and Laylo will join three other top local players in a six-player, double-round robin tournament two weeks before they fly to Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia as part of their intensive preparation.

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