FILIPINO Enrico Sevillano ruled the 21st Metropolitan Chess Fide Invitational two weeks ago in Los Angeles, California and in the process earned his third and final GM norm.
The Cebuano native currently based in Tehachapi, California, tallied six points in nine outings in winning the August 3-7 meet – a Grandmaster norm 10-player round-robin tournament - held at the Radisson Los Angeles Airport Hotel.
Sevillano has a current Elo rating of 2526.
The Filipino player defeated American International Master Melikset Khachiyan and IM Levon Altounian in the last two round en route to his third and final GM norm, making him GM-elect.
He will be conferred his GM title in the next Fide Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, coinciding with the staging of 2012 World Chess Olympiad later this month.
Sevillano, who earned his second GM norm in the 13th Metropolitan Chess Fide Invitational last December, was the 1986 Asian junior champion, two time Philippine Chess Olympiad player (1992 & 1994), 2008 US Open Champion and the first Filipino ever to qualify for the US Championship in 2009.
Finishing second behind Sevillano were GM Robert Hess of the USA (Elo 2624) and IM Roman Yankovsky of Russia (Elo 2468) both with 5.5 out of 9.0.
Sevillano became the latest Cebuano to become a Grandmaster after Paris-based Joseph Sanchez and Richard Bitoon.
He is the country’s 17th GM after Eugene Torre, the late Rosendo Balinas Jr., Rogelio Antonio Jr., Bong Villamayor, Nelson Mariano, Mark Paragua, Wesley So, Darwin Laylo, Jayson Gonzales, John Paul Gomez, Rogelio Barcenilla, Roland Salvador, Julio Catalino Sadorra, and Oliver Barbosa.