Gomez shares lead in Pichay Cup

WORLD Chess Olympiad-bound GM John Paul Gomez kept the Filipino pride alive after  the  fourth round of the sixth Prospero Pichay Cup international chess championship at  the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Adriatico St., Manila.

Gomez, one of five players set to represent the country in the  39th World Chess Olympiad  in  Khanty-Mansisyk, Russia next month,  drew with  top seed GM Murtas Kazhgaleyev of Kazakhstan in  41 moves of the Slav  in the third round and  trounced IM Sadikin  Irwanto of Indonesia  in 38 moves of the Catalan the following  round  to gain a share of the lead with GM Anton Filippov of Uzbekistan with 3.5 points out of  a possible four.

Filippov subdued GM Jayson Gonzales  in the third round  and drew with Kazhgaleyev in the fourth round to share the lead with Gomez.

Ten players, led by Kazhgaleyev and GM Merab Gagunashvili of Georgia, share third to 12th places with three points.

Gagunashvili halved the point with Irwanto and  fellow Geogian Tamaz Gelashvili.

GM Darwin Laylo outplayed second-round sensation Mari Jospeh Turqueza and  IM Roy Sartapshi of Indonesia to vault into contention with three points.

Also making their presence felt  in this prestigious tournament held in honor of Pichay for the sixth straight year are  IM Rolando Nolte,  IM Barlo Nadera,  IM Oliver Dimakling, NM Emmanuel Senador and FM Haridas Pascua, all of the Philippines;  and IM Yu Lie of China.

Nolte  drew with Gm Ehsan Ghaemmaghami of Iran and won over  upset-concious Efren Bagamasbad,  Nadera lost to Gelashvili  but beat Ben Polao,  Dimakiling bested Edmundo Gatus  and Alex Milagrosa, Senador crushed  Ritchie Evangelista and Ghaemaghami and  Pascua  drew with Lie and  upset IM Ronald Dableo.

Gonzales bounced back from a third-round loss to Filippov with a draw against WGM  Atousa Pourkashiyan of Iran to lead five other players with 2.5 points.

At stake in the six-day,  nine-round tournament  supporte dby the Philippine Sports Commisison, PAGCOR and  PCSO  is  a total cash prize  of US$30,000, with the champion pocketing the top prize of US6,000.

The runner-up will receive $4,000, the third placer $3,000, the fourth placer $2,000 and the fifth placer $1,500. The sixth up to the 13 th placers will earn $1,000, while the 14 th up to the 24 th placers will also receive cash prizes.

Supervising arbiter is Casto “Toti” Abundo, while tournament director is Willie Abalos. Radito Torres

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