3 PH bets press on in Asian Zonal chess meet

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Three Filipinos led by Grandmaster (GM) Rogelio Antonio Jr. are in an 11-way tie for the No. 2 spot after second round of the 2017 Asian Zonal Championship being held at the Tagaytay International Convention Center in Tagaytay City.

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Antonio outclassed compatriot International Master (IM) Chito Garma in the opening round then split the point with GM Nguyen Huynh Minh Huy of Vietnam in the second round for 1.5 points.

Joining him in the group of 1.5-pointers are GM Rogelio Barcenilla and IM Paulo Bersamina.

Barcenilla defeated Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano and drew with IM Nguyen Van Huy of Vietnam while Bersamina outplayed Raul Sol Cruz and agreed to a draw with GM Julio Catalino Sadorra in their first two matches.

FIDE Master (FM) Li Tian Yeoh of Malaysia took an early lead with two points. He defeated local players John Marvin Miciano and FM Adrian Pacis.

Sadorra, GMs Darwin Laylo and John Paul Gomez, and IMs Oliver Dimakiling, Haridas Pascua and Rolando Nolte are in 12th to 27th with one point each in the tournament that offers $5,000 total prize fund.

In the third round, Antonio battles Bersamina, Barcenilla takes on Huynh Minh, Sadorra faces FM Pitra Andyka of Indonesia, Gomez tackles Garma, Laylo meets FM Novendra Priasmoro of Indonesia, Pascua goes up against FM Azarya Jodi Setyaki of Indonesia, and Nolte collides with Miciano.

The top two players after nine rounds will qualify for the FIDE World Cup in September in Tbilisi, Georgia.

In the women’s division, Janelle Mae Frayna, the country’s first GM, and Woman IM Catherine Secopito are in second place with 1.5 points apiece – half a point behind GM Hoang Thi Bao Tram of Vietnam (2.0 points).

The women’s champion will qualify for the Women’s World Championship.

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