International Master (IM) Oliver Dimakiling and unheralded Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano posted impressive results against high-rated Vietnamese foes in the fifth round to stay in contention in the 2017 Asian Zonal Championship being held at the Tagaytay International Convention Center in Tagaytay City.
Dimakiling forced a draw with Grandmaster (GM) Nguyen Huynh Minh Huy while Sevillano shocked FIDE Master (FM) Nguyen Anh Khoi to improve their score to 3.5 points for a share of second spot with three other players.
Also with 3.5 points are Huynh Minh Huy, GM Ngyen Ngoc Troung Son of Vietnam and FM Liu Xiangyi of Singapore.
FM Li Tian Yeoh of Malaysia kept the solo lead with 4.5 points following his stunning victory over Filipino GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. in their fifth-round match.
Erstwhile second placer IM Paulo Bersamina dropped to seventh place with three points along with Antonio, GM Darwin Laylo, GM Rogelio Barcenilla and IM Haridas Pascua.
Bersamina and Laylo agreed to a draw while Barcenilla outclassed compatriot John Marvin Miciano, and Pascua blasted teammate FM Adrian Pacis.
Playing in the sixth round are Dimakiling and Yeoh, Sevillano and Liu, Antonio and FM Pitra Adyka of Indonesia, Laylo and Barcenilla, Pascua and IM Nguyen Van Huy of Vietnam, and Bersamina and IM Wei Ming Kevin Goh of Singapore.
In the women’s division, Woman GM (WGM) Janelle Mae Frayna, Woman IM (WIM) Jan Jodilyn Fronda and unrated Christy Lamiel Bernales are in a five-way tie for fifth with three points each after five round.
Frayna and Fronda agreed to a draw while Bernales defeated Woman FM Shania Mae Mendoza.
Vietnam’s WGM Hoang Thi Bao Tram is leading with four points followed by WGM Nguye Thi Thanh An of Vietnam and WIM Gong Qianyun of Singapore with 3.5 apiece.