Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Joey Antonio scored two consecutive draws in the fifth and sixth rounds to stay on top in the 2017 International Open Chess Championship being held at the Osborne Hall in Bacolod City.
Antonio split the point with top seed GM Nigel Short of Great Britain in the fifth then agreed to a draw anew in the sixth against fourth pick and former World Under 12 champion GM Srinath Narayanan of India.
After six round, Antonio has five points to share the lead with Short who has the same output so far in the tournament that offers $3,000 to the champion, $2,500 to the runner-up, $2,000 to the third placer, $1,5000 to the fourth placer and $1,000 to the fifth placer.
Short posted an important sixth-round win against untitled Filipino player Edsel Montoya.
Narayanan is in a group of 4.5-pointers together with second seed Karen Grigoryan of Armenia, and Filipinos International Masters (IM) Ronald Dableo and Chito Garma, and unheralded Danmaersk Mangao.
Grigoryan blasted GM Nguyen Duc Hoa of Vietnam, Dableo outclassed Jayson Salubre, Garma stunned GM Tran Tuan Minh of Vietnam and Mangao shocked GM Darwin Laylo in their sixth-round matches.
Duc Hoa, Montoya, IM Tran Minh Thang, National Master Merben Roque and IM Oliver Dimakiling are in a five-way tie for eighth place with four points each while Laylo fell to 19th place with 3.5 points.
In the seventh round, Antonio battles Dableo, Short faces Mangao, Narayanan meets Grigoryan, Garma takes on Thang, Duc Hoa tackles Montoya, Roque goes up against Dimakiling, and Laylo fight Ellan Asuela.