Six Filipino players started their bids on a bright note after scoring separate opening round victories on Wednesday in the 5th HDBank Cup International Open Chess tournament 2015 in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
Grandmaster (GM) Julio Catalino Sadorra, International Masters (IM) Haridas Pascua, Oliver Dimakiling, Rolando Nolte and Paulo Bersamina, and untitled Franz Robert Grafil are sharing the top spot with 25 other players.
Sadorra beat FIDE Master (FM) Nguyen Anh Khoi of Vietnam, Pascua defeated S. Harini of India, Dimakiling toppled Trand Le Dan Thuy of Vietnam, Nolte thumped Nguyen Phuoc Tam of Vietnam, Bersamina nipped Lee Kyung Seok of South Korea and Grafil stunned Filipino GM Richard Bitoon.
GMs John Paul Gomez, Olivera Barbosa, Darwin Laylo and Eugene Torre, and IM Kim Steven Yap, on the other hand, drew their respective first-round games while FM Mari Joseph Turqueza and Stewart Manaog lost their matches.
Gomez split the point with IM Bao Khoa of Vietnam, Barbosa agreed to a draw with Tran Ngoc Lan of Vietnam, Laylo halved the point with Vo Thi Kim Phung of Vietnam, and Torre and Yap settled to a draw with Le Kieu Thien Kim of Vietnam and Cho Seong Ho of South Korea, respectively.
Turqueza bowed to fifth seed Zhang Zhong of Singapore and Stewart succumbed to GM Karavade Eesha of India.
Top seed GM Li Chao of China outclassed Htay Min Lwin of Myanmar and No. 2 GM Le Quang Liem of Vietnam crushed his untitled compatriot Tran Manh Tien to join the opening day winners in the tournament sanctioned by the International Chess Federation.