FILIPINO teen sensation Christian Gian Karlo Arca showed why he’s the next big thing in Philippine chess as he topped a Grandmaster (GM) tournament in Quang Ninh in Vietnam over the weekend.

The prodigious 15-year-old FIDE Master finished undefeated, scoring six points in nine rounds on three victories and six fighting draws in claiming the crown in the second of the two-bracket tournament.

It was made more special by Mr. Arca coming in as the lowest rated among 10 participants with a 2265 rating before defying overwhelming odds to complete the improbable conquest.

The feat earned Mr. Arca the second of the three norms to become an International Master  (IM) while earning a massive 62.8 FIDE rating points that should propel him straight to breaching the 2300-plateau.

His wins came at the expense of Vietnamese GM Tran Tuan Minh and IMs Azarya Jodi Setyaki of Indonesia and Lou Yiping of China in the first three rounds and drew his last six outings including those against GMs John Paul Gomez also of the Philippines and Nguyen Anh Dung of Vietnam and IMs Michael Concio, Jr., also his countryman, and Liu Xiangyi of Singapore.

Mr. Concio finished third with five points while Gomez was fifth with 4.5 points.

IM Daniel Quizon saw action in the first bracket but was off form and wound up sixth with 4.5 points. — Joey Villar