Filipino International Master (IM) Haridas Pascua and Grandmaster (GM) Samy Shoker of Egypt are still sharing the top spot after the seventh round of the 2016 Hong Kong International Open being held at the Kung Lee College in Tai Hang Drive, Hong Kong.
Pascua and Shoker settled for a draw in the sixth round then toppled their respective foes in the seventh round to keep the lead with 6.5 points each.
Pascua outplayed compatriot FIDE Master Deniel Causo in the seventh while Shoker nipped Filipino IM Oliver Dimakiling in the other seventh-round game.
Despite the loss, Dimakiling kept his title bid alive with 5.5 points.
He bounced back with a victory over James Chan of Canada in the seventh round.
Also with 5.5 points is Chinese Peng Shunkai who defeated Denis Molofej of Lithuania.
Causo and fellow FM Nelson Villanuave are in a group of five-points along with IM Li Bo of China, GM Zeng Chongsheng of China, Dawson Tan Soon Wei of Malaysia, Koji Noguchi of Japan, FM Brian Wong of Hong Kong, Zou Yi Fan of China and Xu Yuze of China.
Pascua will battle Peng in the eighth round while Dimakiling faces Shoker, and Causo meets Villanueva.
The other interesting pairings are Wong versus Zeng, Zuo vs Li, Noguchi versus Xu and Wang versus Tan Soon in the tournament which offers HK $10,000 to the champion while the second placer takes HK $6,000, third placer pockets HK $5,000, fourth placer earns HK $4,000 and fifth placer claims HK $3,000.
The event is using a Swiss System, nine-round format under the latest rules and regulations of FIDE (world chess federation) with title norms may be possible depending of the number of titled players.