Boxing Day was no rest for a group of Filipino and a three Aussie chessers as they opened their campaign in this year's Singapore Masters and Challengers event. Rated 2432, IM Enrique Paciencia spearheads the RP contingent that also includes fellow IM Wesley So - who, of course, last week won the 2nd Prospero "Butch" Pichay Open.
With 14 grandmasters, mostly from China, in the Masters section - there will be plenty of opportunities for the Filipino players to score those highly sought-after GM norms. Also hoping to improve on their international ratings as well as sharpen their skills will be Aussie juniors Angela and Raymond Song. All power to these two as they mix it up against some awesome opposition. A third Australian, Jim Rogers of Queensland, is in the Challengers section.
In Round 1, John Paul Gomez scored a big upset by beating GM Wang Rui (2463). A full list of Pinoy results are available here. The three Australians are yet to get off the mark. Raymond lost as white to FM Graham Chua of Singapore while sister Angela suffered the same fate to the 2244-rated Ahmad Bachtiar of Indonesia. Angela has a date with RP's FM Julio Sadorra in the next round.