While the elite Corus tournament is currently underway, another tri-section event is taking place closer to home. The Indonesian Chess Fed (PERCASI) is hosting the 1st Leg ASEAN Chess Circuit tournament in East Kalimantan, Indonesia.
The event is divided into 3 "circuits": a category 9 (Grandmaster "A"), a category 7 (Grandmaster "B") as well as a category 4 WIM event. All are round robins with 12 players (11 rounds). A complete list of participants is available here.
After 5 rounds Singapore's GM Zong Zhang leads the Grandmaster "A" section with 3.5 points, just ahead of Indonesia's IM Situru and and Malaysian IM Hafizulhemi who both have 3 points apiece.
In the Grandmaster "B" field, RP's GM Paragua is the current sole leader with 4 points, just a slim half-point ahead of IM Sitanggang of Indonesia and Armenia's IM Nadanian. While in the WIM section, IM Sadikin and GM Handoko, both Indonesians, have 5 and four points respectively.
Filipino legend GM Eugene Torre isn't exactly having the best of times here. After 5 games, he has collected only 1.5 points. He lost his last game to IM Ginting Nasib.
ASEAN Masters Chess Circuit 2008
IM Ginting, Nasib
GM Torre, Eugenio
1. Nf3 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. g3 Nbd7 4. c4 e5 5. Nc3 c6 6. Bg2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. e4 Re8 9. h3 Bf8 10. Re1 a6 11. d5 a5 12. Be3 Qc7 13. Nd2 Nc5 14. Nb3 Nfd7 15. Nxc5 Nxc5 16. a3 Bd7 17. Qc2 Na6 18. Rab1 c5 19. Kh2 g6 20. Re2 Bg7 21. Rbe1 Qd8 22. h4 Nc7 23. Bh3 Bxh3 24. Kxh3 b5 25. cxb5 Nxb5 26. Nxb5 Qd7+ 27. Kg2 Qxb5 28. a4 Qd7 29. h5 Reb8 30. hxg6 hxg6 31. Bd2 Qb7 32. Bc3 Qa6 33. Rh1 Qc4 34. Ra1 Rb7 35. Ree1 f5 36. Qe2 Qxe2 37. Rxe2 Kf7 38. Rh1 Rbb8 39. Ree1 Rh8 40. Rxh8 Bxh8 41. Kf3 Bf6 42. Rh1 Kg7 43. g4 fxe4+ 44. Kxe4 c4 45. Bd2 Rb8 46. Rb1 Bd8 47. Bc3 Bg5 48. Kf3 Rf8+ 49. Ke2 Bd8 50. f3 Rf4 51. Kf2 g5 52. Kg3 Kg6 53. Re1 Bb6 54. Re2 Rf8 55. Rc2 Rc8 56. Be1 Rc7 57. Kg2 Kg7 58. Kf1 Kf6 59. Ke2 Ke7 60. b3 cxb3 61. Rxc7+ Bxc7 62. Kd3 Kf6 63. Bg3 Bb6 64. Kc3 Be3 65. Kxb3 Bf4 66. Be1 e4 67. fxe4 Ke5 68. Bxa5 Kxe4 69. Kc4 Kf3 70. Bc7 Kxg4 71. a5 Be3 72. Bb6 1-0
Torre is slated to play a 12-game match against countryman GM Rogelio Antonio Jr., in March 2008. If he's going to have any chance at the P800,000 winner's cheque (P400,000 will go to the loser), Asia's first GM will have to work much harder. Doubtless, Antonio will be paying close attention.
For regular updates of the 1st Leg ASEAN Chess Circuit, visit www.indochess.com.