Wesley So formalized his title conquest in this year’s Battle of the GMs by beating fellow Grandmaster Darwin Laylo in the 11th and final round at the Pavilion Hotel in Zamboanga del Norte province Tuesday.
The 15-year-old So, who also won last year's edition, defeated Laylo in 51 moves of the center counter.
So, adjudged as the best junior player in the Aeroflot Chess tournament in Russia, capped his campaign with 18 points on seven wins and four draws to pocket the P200,000 top prize.
Meanwhile, GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr. scored second place with 14 points following his draw with GM Eugene Torre (13 points) in the final round.
Antonio, who recently scored a string of victories in the US circuit, went home with the P100,000 second prize while Asia’s first GM Torre settled for P80,000.
GMs Mark Paragua and John Paul Gomez were tied with 12 points followed by GM Darwin Laylo with 11.5.
In last year's Battle of GMs, which was staged at the Citystate Hotel, Manila, So edged Torre by a point with 8.5.
The Battle of GMs was organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.