Singapore 2015 is arguably seeing the strongest ever ASEAN+ Age-Group Championships held so far with seedings, titles, and reputations counting for nothing especially in the higher ages categories.
In Open U-20 it is FM Tin Jingyao from Singapore, Dhulipalla Chandra Prasad from India and FM Bui Trong Hao from Vietnam who are all on 4/5 and in the lead.
This category is proving to be extremely competitive with IM Garcia Jan Emmanuel from the Philippines in fourth with 3.5/5 while the top seed FM Le Tuan Minh from Vietnam has only 3/5 and two pre-championship favourites, recently crowned Asian Schools Open U-17 champion FM Liu Xiangyi from Singapore and defending champion IM Paolo Bersamina from the Philippines in a pack of players all on just 2.5/5.
Girls U-20 is however being dominated by WIM Gallas Bernadette from Philippines who is on 5/5 and comfortably 1.5 points clear of a very strong field that includes many other strong Filipinas together with other highly ranked and experienced players from Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.
In Open U-18 it is FM Lu Chan Hung of Vietnam who has the perfect 5/5 score and leads his more fancied countrymen FM Nguyen Anh Khoi with 3.5/5 and IM Tran Tuan Minh who has 3/5, the same score as Caranyagan Carlo and Llantada Kyz from the Philippines.
Third seeded WFM Chitlange Sakshi from India is another player also running away from the competition, her 5/5 in the Girls U-18 leading second placed WFM Tran Thi Nyu Y who has 3.5/5 and top seeded WFM Shania Mae Mendoza from the Philippines, a double World and Asian Schools Champion just one of 5 players sharing third place on 3/5.
All results are available at the official website www.aseanagegroupchess.com
Report by Peter Long