Foreigners pace Subic tourney
SUBIC BAY—Foreign players, led by top seed Grandmaster Wang Hao of China and sixth-ranked Vladislav Kovalev of Belarus, flaunted their strength as they occupied the top seven spots after five rounds of the Philippine International Chess Championship at Subic Bay Peninsular Hotel in Olongapo.
Wang, toting an Elo rating of 2678, downed Armenian GM Tigran Kotanjan in 27 moves of a Sicilian to share the lead with Kovalev, who toppled fourth round pacesetter Woman GM Lei Tingjie of China in 60 moves of a Benoni late Thursday.
They boosted their total to 4.0 points, towing 3.5 pointers Lei, Georgian GMs Merab Gagunashvili and Levan Pantsulaia and Russian GMs Boris Savchenko and Anton Demchenko.
Savchenko and Demchenko drew after 55 moves of a Ruy Lopez-Steinitz Defense; Gagunashvili relented to a 14-move truce with countryman GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili of a Queen’s Pawn Game; and Pentsulaia beat International Master Oliver Dimakiling in 52 moves of a Zukefort Opening.
Carrying the fight for the lower-rated Filipinos with 3.0 points each are GM John Paul Gomez and IMs Paulo Bersamina and Haridas Pascua.
Gomez and Pascua split the point in 30 moves of a Trompovsky Attack while Bersamina drew with Indian IM Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi in 24 moves of a King’s Indian Defense to stay within striking distance in the nine-round Swiss event.
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