Filipino Grandmaster (GM) John Paul Gomez stayed at No. 2 after eight rounds in the 2014 Philippine International Chess Challenge Open division being held at the Celebrity Sports Club in Quezon City.
Gomez shared the second spot with GM Anton Demchenko of Russia with identical six points, just half a point behind solo leader Russian GM Ivan Popov (6.5 points).
Fellow Filipino GMs Julio Catalino Sadorra and Rogelio Antonio Jr. are in a three-way tie for fourth with 5.5 each.
Gomez defeated GM Avetik Grigoryan of Armenia, Antonio beat FIDE Master Sumiya Bilguun of Mongolia and Demchenko outplayed Sadorra in their respective eighth-round games.
Popov, on the other hand, clobbered Filipino International Master (IM) Haridas Pascua in the tournament sanctioned by the International Chess Federation.
Grigoryan led the group of five-pointers that also includes GM Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia, GM Merab Gagunashvili of Georgia, and Pascua, IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia, IM Emmanuel Senador and GM Darwin Laylo of the Philippines.
In the ninth round, Popov faces Antonio, Gomez battles Demchenko, Sadorra meets IM Narayanan Sunilduth Lyna of India, Pantsulaia tackles Pascua, and Laylo takes on Grigoryan.