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Arca in hot pursuit of IM title

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
Arca in hot pursuit of IM title
Christian Gian Carlo Arca
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino rising chess star Christian Gian Carlo Arca kept on plowing through older, tougher competition as he jumped to a share of second spot halfway through the Asian Youth Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan over the weekend.

The 15-year-old FIDE Master came out of a cramped opening position with a pseudo central pawn sacrifice that allowed him to win the exchange, a pawn and eventually the game at the expense of Iranian Abolfazl Mogheyseh in 47 moves of a Slav Defense.

It hiked Arca’s total to four points, just a point behind solo leader and fourth seed FM Eldiar Orozbaev of Kyrgyzstan, who remained unbeaten with five points after he trounced home bet Satbek Akhmedinov.

Arca, whose trip here is being bankrolled by Dasmariñas, Cavite, shares No. 2 with Akhmedinov, sixth pick FM Alexander Khripachenko, Shahdad Teimouri Yadkuri of Iran, Duong Vu Anh of Vietnam and Chia Yu Zhe Ashton of Singapore.

Arca, who earned his second of three required norms to become an International Master after he ruled a GM tournament in Quang Ninh, Vietnam last month, was looking to sustain his solid start as he was battling top seed IM Aldiyar Ansat of Kazakhstan in the sixth round at press time.

The 2024 PSA Tony Siddayao awardee is hoping to win the tournament and claim an outright IM title.

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