The race is on
Monday, February 22, 2010Who do you think will be the first ASEAN chess player ever to break the 2700 Elo mark?
(Please educate this blogger if an ASEAN player had already made the record.)
If the Philippines produced the first grandmaster in Asia in the name of the legendary GM Eugene Torre, I guess it would be Vietnam which could produce the first ASEAN player to reach the 2700 Elo mark.
The live ratings of the leading contemporary ASEAN players will show us the whole picture.As of today (February 23, 2010), GM Le Quang Liem of Vietnam (2647), fresh from conquering the Aeroflot Open 2010 in Moscow,Russia, leads the race with a live rating of 2689, just 11 Elo points shy off the coveted mark. Next in line is the Philippines' Numero Uno GM Wesley So (2656) who now parades a live rating of 2665.3, or 33.7 Elo points off the target. Both GMs Le and So played in the Aeroflot Open.We all know that 2689, not 2665.3, is much closer to 2700.
As of this moment, some 23.7 Elo point-margin separates the two. Today with GMs Le and So out of the picture, the ASEAN quest for the 2700 race will just certainly be an absurd dream.
Notably, GM Le gained astonishing 42 Elo points in his last two tournaments. He gained 16.20 at the Moscow Open 2010, where he tied for first, and incredible 25.80 at Aeroflot Open 2010 where we emerged as solo champion.
GM So, on the other hand, gained not so huge 9.3 points in his last two tournaments, 4.7 in Corus 2010 (Group B), where he placed fifth, and 4.6 in Aeroflot Open 2010 where he placed 11th overall.
GM So's next tournament will be the Battle of GMs (BOGM) where he is seeded No.1. Being the only 2600-rated player in the country and whose rating margin to the next highest rated player is around 100 Elo points, he is not poised to boost his Elo standing in this tournament. Inevitable draws - I expect at least three - will surely make a stingy dent to his 2700 campaign. And heaven forbid, what about an accidental loss (with much emphasis on the term 'accidental').
Of course, GM Wesley has that moral and patriotic obligations to play in the Battle of GMs. And we should salute this young lad for keeping his commitment.
If he could avoid bloodless draws in the BOGM, much better. If his opponents/friends respect GM Wesley enough, it would be best for them to avoid the needless truce with Wesley. Oh please, don't drag the country's source of hope and inspiration down.
As I see it, Wesley needs at least three tournaments - provided he plays well - to breach the 2700 target. As for the Vietnamese Le, he only needs just ONE tournament - provided he plays well too - to achieve the historic honor of being the first ASEAN to realize the elusive dream.We can't avoid the comparison. The race is on. And Vietnam is moving faster to reach the finish line.source: http://chesswindows.blogspot.com/