Haridas seeks final GM norm in Thailand

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Sunday, March 29, 2015


FOLLOWING his success in earning his second Grand Master norm recently, International Master Haridas Pascua is once again at eyeing the final step as he competes in the upcoming 15th Bangkok Chess Club Open slated April 12-19 in Thailand.

Pascua, rated presently as number 12 in the active player’s list of the Philippines, will push to claim his third and final norm in the weeklong international sports tournament to be housed at the Dusit Thani Pattaya Hotel next month.

"Hopefully this international tournament would complete his three needed norms, until then he will remain focused in training and preparing himself," Haridas’ father Gilbert told Sun.Star Baguio.

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The Baguio City-based wood pusher settled for a four-way third place tie in 5th HD Bank Cup International Chess Championships held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam March 16-23.

The 21-year-old University of Baguio student capped his performance with five wins, one loss, and three draws in the tournament backed by the Vietnam Chess Federation also serves as a qualifying round for the 2015 World Cup.

"If he can complete his GM norms as early as next month, Haridas will increase his ELO rating to 2,600 and up. Yun kasi ang required ng World Chess Federation para ma-obtain niya finally ang title na GM," Gilbert said.

The Information Technology senior, who started playing the sport at the age of four, is currently buying to be the 18th Filipino GM.

As of press time Haridas’ ELO rating is at 2,423 in standard chess, 2,395 in rapid, and 2403 in blitz.

"It will truly be a blessing kapag nagawa niyang makakuha ulit ng GM norm sa Thailand, unfortunately sa unang sinalihan niya na 2015 Zonal 3.3 doon rin Vietnam last March 6-10 hindi siya nakakuha ng GM norm," Gilbert said.

"This time talagang pinaghahandaan na niya yung next na tournament niya," he added.

Haridas acquired his first GM norm at Philippine Sports Commission International Chess Challenge held in Quezon City December last year where he also copped the top spot at the close of the chess competition.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 30, 2015.

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