Four Filipinos led by International Master (IM) Oliver Dimakiling are sharing the top spot after scoring victories in the opening round of the 2016 Hong Kong International Open being held at the Kung Lee College in Tai Hang Drive, Hong Kong.
Dimakiling won over untitled Malaysian player Eng Jia Qian while fellow IM Haridas Pascua, and FIDE Masters Deniel Causo and Nelson Villanueva also had a sterling start in their respective games.
Pascua overwhelmed Hong Kong Nicholas Chuen Woo, Causo outplayed KC Umesh of Nepal and Villanueva blasted Song Estella of Hong Kong. The tournament 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.
In the second round, Dimakiling battles Benjamin Tao Teng Oh of Hong Kong, Pascua takes on Marcus Chen Meng Boon of Singapore, Causo meets Michael Deng Yu Dong of Hong Kong and Villanueva faces Benjamin Lu of Malaysia.
Joining them on top are Grandmaster Samy Shoker of Egypt, James Chan of Canada, Wang Jiaqi of China, Li Hui of Macau, William Shi of Canada and Peng Shunkai of China.
Shoker beat Ang Jing Xuan of Malaysia, Chan defeated Tamang Dal Bahadur of Hong Kong, Wang toppled Jonathan Auyeung Chi Hung of Singapore, Shi nipped Cai Fansheng of China, and Peng clobbered Andrew Cheng Chen Li of Taiwan.
The event is using a Swiss System, nine-round format under the latest rules and regulations of FIDE (world chess federation). Title norms may be possible depending on the number of titled players.