Filipino International Master (IM) Haridas Pascua ended the season with a bang as he ruled the 2016 Hong Kong International Open held at the Kung Lee College in Tai Hang Drive, Hong Kong.
Pascua scored crucial wins in the last two rounds to wrap up his campaign with 8.5 points on eight wins and one draw. He defeated Peng Shunkai of China in the eighth round and Dawson Wei Tan Soon of Malaysia in the final round.
The 23-year-old wizard blasted Woo Nicholas Tsz Chuen of Hong Kong in the first round, Marcus Chen Meng Boon of Singapore in the second, Andrew Leung Ho Yan of Hong Kong in the third, Denis Molofej of Lithuania in the fourth, Grandmaster (GM) Zeng Chongsheng of China in the fifth and compatriot FIDE Master Deniel Causo in the seventh then drew with GM Samy Shoker of Egypt in the sixth.
Shoker and Filipino IM Oliver Dimakiling shared the second spot with 7.5 points each.
But the Egyptian secured the runner-up finish via superior tiebreak points, leaving Dimakiling in the third place.
Pascua pocketed the HK $10,000 top purse while Shoker earned HK $6,000 and Dimakiling got HK $5,000.
Filipino FIDE Master (FM) Nelson Villanueva took the fourth place with seven points for HK $4,000 while Chinese IM Li Bo was fifth with 6.5 points and claimed HK $3,000.
Rounding up the Top 10 were Zuo Yifan of China, Molofej, Zeng, Tan Soon and Deng Tianle of China.
Causo was 13th overall with 5.5 points in the nine-round tournament organized by the Hong Hong Chess Federation.
It was a great season-ending campaign for Filipino woodpushers in international scene.
Recently, GM Wesley So, who represented the United States Chess Federation, bagged the London Chess Classic – Grand Chess Tour crown to claim the $100,000 cash prize.