STANDINGS (10 rounds):
7.5 -- C. Li (China)
7.0 -- B. Villamayor, J. Sadorra, E. Maghami (Iran), M. Mahjoob (Iran), Q. Le (Vietnam)
6.5 -- R. Antonio, W. So, S. Irwanto (Indonesia), T. Purnama (Indonesia), D. Liu (Indonesia)
6.0 -- J. Gomez, R. Nolte, R. Bitoon, R. Tolentino, D.T. Hai (Vietnam), A.D. Nguyen (Vietnam), X. Zhang (China), L. Wang (China), Z.H. Wynn (Myanmar)
Grandmaster Buenaventura ?Bong? Villamayor and IM Julio Catalino Sadorra, carried the fight for the embattled Filipino chessers after winning their 10th round matches late Tuesday in the 2nd Philippine Open International Chess Championship at the Subic Exhibition and Convention Center.
This after the country?s brightest hope GM Wesley So only managed a draw against Indon IM Sadikin Irwanto.
The 41-year-old Villamayor, the 2000 Asian Zonal champion trounced GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia in 54 moves of an Old Indian Defense while Sadorra continued his climb, beating GM Nguyen Anh Dung of Vietnam to boost their chances for the title and the $6,000 prize in the 11-round tournament.
?It's pure luck. I didn't even expect to be at this position,? said Villamayor. ?Medyo rusty pa din, pero unti-unti nang bumabalik yung dati nating tira,? he added.
Equally impressive was Sadorra, who upset GM Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam in one of the day's late matches.
Villamayor and Sadorra raised their total to 7.0 points, just half a point behind pacesetter GM Li Chao of China, who agreed to a draw with GM Morteza Mahjoob of Iran.
Joining Villamayor and Sadorra are Mahjoob and Maghami, the top-seeded Iranian GM who thwarted GM Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam.
Meanwhile, So, blew a big chance to contend for the title when he settled for a draw with Irwanto and virtually bow out of the title race with 6.5 points.
In an all-Filipino showdown, Rustum Tolentino whipped David Elorta to improve with 6.0 points.
Three-time national junior champion IM John Paul Gomez also halved the point with Wang Li of China to increase his total to 5.5 points, the same score of IM Danny Juswanto, who crushed Rolando Andador;
NM Emmanuel Senador subdued FM Adrian Pacis and Nelson Villanueva downed IM Aung Aung to improve to 4.5 points and earn an IM norm.