Haridas Pascua continues hunt for GM title
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - August 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — For four years now, International Master Haridas Pascua had tried but failed to breach the 2500-rating that would have made him the Philippines’ 12th chess grandmaster and the first since 2011. 

He isn’t giving up though.

Pascua, now 26, fought second seed GM Ehsan Ghaem-Maghami of Iran to a draw to remain just a point off the pace after seven rounds of the 16th Dato Arthur Tan Malaysian Open 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday.

The result kept Pascua undefeated with four draws and three victories and has five points for a share of fifth place with six others entering the final two rounds.

The same group included countrymen Emmanuel Emperado, son of former Women’s Olympiad veteran Mila Emperado, who shocked Indonesian FIDE Master Mohamad Ervan, and reigning national juniors champion Jeth Romy Morado, who stunned GM Darwin Laylo.

Pascua was battling another Iranian GM Shahin Lorparizangeneh in the eighth and penultimate round at press time, and a win could earn the Baguio native more rating points.

Pascua had clinched his third and final GM norm in the Abu Dhabi Masters as early as four years ago but World Chess Federation (FIDE) regulations say he cannot be awarded the title until he hits 2500.

To date, Pascua’s rating is 2431 and has earned four extra points after seven games.

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