Gupta moves closer toward PH int’l chess championship
Standings after nine rounds (Open Division)
6.5 points—Gupta 6.5; 6.0—Demchenko, Shomoev, Deepan, Lin, Sivuk; 5.5—Savchenko, Sunilduth Lyna; 5.0—Zubov, Nolte, Mozharov, Belous, Antonio, Smirnov; 4.5—Laylo, Nguyen, Torre, Puranik, Bersamina, Kotanjian, Docena; 4.0, Ranola, Bitoon; 3.5—Abelgas, Dimakiling, Rohan, Frayna, Gotel, Pascua; 3.0—Sean; 2.5—Pedersen, Secopito; Mariano III, 2.0.
TOP SEED Indian Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta of India scored a win and a draw in the eighth and ninth rounds to move closer to the 2015 Philippine International Chess Championship title at Subic Bay Peninsular Hotel, Subic Freeport Zone in Olongapo City.
Gupta beat Filipino GM Darwin Laylo and then split the point with Chinese GM Shanglei Lu after 64 moves of a French Opening (Tarrasch Variation) to grab the solo lead with 6.5 points, half a point ahead of five pursuers.
The 2008 world junior champion Gupta will clinch the title and the $5,000 that goes with it if he prevails over his final round opponent, GM Vitaly Sivuk of Ukraine. The final round was still being played late Saturday.
Sivuk is at 6.0 with Russian GMs Anton Demchenko and Anton Shomoev, Indian GM Chakkavarthy Deepan and Chinese International Master Chen Lin.
Behind them are GM Alexander Zubov of Ukraine and Indian GM Narayanan Sunilduth Lyna with 5.5 points.
Demchenko, Shomoev, Deepan and Lin drew their two previous matches, It was the 11th seed Sivuk,who made the biggest jump after upending Russian GMs Mikhail Mozharov and Vladimir Belous, respectively.
The other pairings in the top boards pit Demchenko against Lu in Board 2, Deepan vs Shomoev in Board 3, Lin vs Savchenko in Board 4 and Sunilduth Layna vs Filipino GM Joey Antonio.
The 53-year old Antonio is bunched at 5.0 points along with fellow Filipino IM Rolando Nolte, Mozharov, Belous and Russian GM Pavel Smirnov .
In the Challenger Division of the tournament organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines and supported by Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Sports Commission, Puregold, Asian United Bank and Burlington Socks, Lennon Hart Salgados grabbed the solo lead with 6.5 points after eight rounds.
He was followed by WIM Shania Mae Mendoza and Jeth Romy Morado with six points apiece. Trailing them with 5.5 points are Paul Robert Evangelits, Christopher Diaz and Vince Angelo Medina.