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CHESS PIECE: GM DARWIN LAYLOIndochessCHESS PIECE: GM DARWIN LAYLODarwin Laylo is 27 years of age.He was born to a poor family from San Roque, Marikina.His father was a tricycle driver and hardly played chess, but one day his uncle brought a chess set and taught him the moves.Before long Darwin was beating the uncle, the uncle's friends and in fact everybody in sight.His prowess in this game of kings was to become the hope of his family for a better life.Darwin became a college star for the multi-NCAA champion San Sebastian College Stags.In 1999 he won the National Junior (Under-20) Championship with a terrific score of 10.5/11, and represented the Philippines in the Asian Juniors which took place in Vung Tau, Vietnam.Despite the fact that he was unrated and a total unknown, Laylo started beating everybody else in sight, including the top seed Chinese zonal champion Liang Chong.He however lost a bit of steam towards the middle of the tournament and 4 straight victories towards the end could only get him second place, half a point behind the champion, soon-to-be Indian superstar Krishnan Sasikiran.After the tournament Darwin continued his chess growth, and won the Philippine national championship in 2004 and 2006.Since both times were in were Olympiad years, he represented the Philippines in the 2004 Calvia Olympiad and also in 2006 Turin.Also in 2006 he picked up two GM norms, the first from the 2006 Malaysian Open, and the second at the 2006 Bad Wiesse tournament in Germany.The fact is rather than sit around at home moping Darwin buckled down to some serious work and waited for his reinstatement.His chance came in the recently-concluded Asian Individual Chess Championship, where the top players in Asia took part to get a chance at the US$6,000 first prize as well as the 10 qualifying slots for the Khanty-Mansiysk World cup to take place in November 22 this year.Darwin poured all his mental energy into the event.Over 11 rounds he faced 8 grandmasters, defeating Sandipan Chanda (India 2563), Dao Thien Hai (Vietnam 2537) and Le Quang Liem (Vietnam 2542), drawing with Zhou Jianchao (China 2572), Zhao Jun (China 2558) and tournament winner Zhang Pengxiang (China 2649) and losing twice, to Susanto Megaranto (Indonesia 2554) from a very favorable position, and to Indian whiz kid Parimarjan Negi (2529) from a winning game.So now the wheel has turned full circle, and prospects are once again very bright.Darwin Laylo has graduated to a full-fledged International Grandmaster, the 7th in the Philippines after Eugenio Torre (1974), the late Rosendo Balinas Jr. (1976), Rogelio Antonio Jr. (1993), Bong Villamayor (2004), Nelson Mariano II (2004) and Mark Paragua (2006).A few years ago during a training session I noted to Darwin that his Black openings were not impressive, and suggested a switch to more open positions with the Scandinavian.I then handed him my "secret weapon", a CD containing secret analyses prepared over several years on the Scandinavian including a complete repertoire against White's possible replies.This also included every known/existing game on the Scandinavian in chess history with all games catalogued per variation.Darwin took this up quite seriously and is now probably the country's greatest expert on the Scandinavian.It has become traditional that I end a write-up on Darwin with his latest exploits in the Scandinavian.The following game could not be more crucial - Laylo had to score 1.5 out of his last two games to enter the magic 10.Here is the win he needed so much.Darwin confessed that he took 30 minutes thinking whether to stick to his guns or to play the Sicilian.Darwin told me that for a while he thought Le Quang would play 17.Qd6!?Darwin on the other hand had 90 seconds and thought that the text would surprise his opponent, as it in fact did.After this win Darwin agreed a short draw with GM Zhang Pengxiang to get his GM title.I am very proud of Darwin Laylo.May I say that this happy ending could not have happened to a nicer guy.Reader comments/suggestions are urgently solicited.
CHESS PIECE: GM DARWIN LAYLO It has already been announced in the World Chess Federation (FIDE) website that the Philippines' GM Darwin Laylo will be facing GM Etienne Bacrot in the World Cup which is due to take place in Khanty-Mansysk, Russia, starting November 22, 2007.If Darwin manages to defeat Bacrot, then his next round opponent will either be GM Michael Roiz (Germany) or GM Varuzhan Akobian (USA).Does Darwin have a chance against Bacrot?Bacrot's current FIDE rating is a stratospheric 2695, compared with Darwin's 2508 this is a difference of 187 points.By the way, this line, called the Chebanenko Slav, is a favorite of both Bacrot and Laylo.Does Darwin Laylo have a chance against Etienne Bacrot?Darwin is representing the Filipino people - he will fight to the last drop.Reader comments/suggestions are urgently solicited.
CHESS PIECE: GM DARWIN LAYLOCHESS PIECE: LAYLO GETS GM NORMCHESS PIECE: DARWIN LAYLOCHESS PIECE: LAYLO IS CHAMP AGAIN
This was the same tournament where Darwin Laylo fulfilled his requirements for the International Grandmaster title. GM Darwin Laylo (2007) By the way, this line, called the Chebanenko Slav, is a favorite of both Bacrot and Laylo.Since both of them also play 1.d4 as White there is a big possibility this variation will be "discussed" in the World Cup" Here is another thing I wrote: "Bacrot's current FIDE rating is a stratospheric 2695, compared with Darwin's 2508 this is a difference of 187 points.One of our readers who calls himself Chris Gambit avers: GM Laylo has nothing to be ashamed of regarding his defeat against GM Bacrot.GM Laylo should look to the future with confidence, he is going to be one of the stalwarts of Philippine chess in the years to come.
CHESS PIECE: GM DARWIN LAYLO This was the same tournament where Darwin Laylo fulfilled his requirements for the International Grandmaster title.GM Darwin Laylo (2007)