Four Filipino players remained unbeaten in two games to share the top spot with three other foreign players after the second round of the 2017 International Open Chess Championship being held at the Osborne Hall in Bacolod City.
Grandmaster (GM) Joey Antonio, International Master (IM) Chito Garma, and untitled players Edsel Montoya and Merben Roque blasted their respective foes in the second round of the tournament, which offers $3,000 to the champion and $2,500 to the runner-up.
Antonio stamped his class over Emmanuel Emperado, Garma toppled FIDE Master Stephen Rome Pangilinan, and Montoya stunned IM Ronald Dableo.
But it was Roque who posted the day’s biggest upset as he shocked third seed GM Tran Tuan Minh of Vietnam.
Joining them in the first place are top seed GM Nigel Short of Great Britain, and Vietnamese players GM Nguyen Duc Hoa and IM Tran Minh Thang, who defeated their respective Filipino foes in the second round.
Short outclassed David Elorta, Duc Hoa clobbered Jayson Salubre and Thang beat National master (NM) Elwin Retanal.
Second seed GM Karen Griyoryan of Armenia, fourth pick GM Srinath Narayanan of India, and Filipinos GM Darwin Laylo, IM Oliver Dimakiling and IM Kim Steven Yap are in a group of 1.5-pointers.
After settling for a draw in their first-round matches, Grigoryan bounced back with a victory over Rolzon Roullo while Laylo came up with a victory over NM Winston Joseph Silva.
On the other hand, Narayanan agreed to a draw with Rommel Ganzon. Dimakiling split the point with Ellan Asuela as Yap did the same with Daniel Quizon.
The third round pairings are Thang versus Short, Garma versus Duc Hoa, Antonio versus Roque, Grigoryan versus Montoya, Laylo versus Quizon, Yap versus Ganzon, Asuela versus Minh and Dableo versus Pangilinan.