Russian keeps lead in Chess Challenge

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Filipino Grandmasters (GM) Julio Catalino Sadorra and John Paul Gomez are sharing the second place behind solo leader GM Ivan Popov of Russia after five rounds in the 2014 Philippine International Chess Challenge Open division being held at the Celebrity Sports Club in Quezon City.

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Sadorra split the point with Georgian GM Levan Pantsulaia while Gomez toppled compatriot International Master Oliver Dimakiling in their respective fifth-round matches.

Popov, on the other hand outplayed GM Anton Demchenko of Russia to grab the top spot with 4.5 points. Sadorra, Gomez and Pantsulaia are in a three-way tie for second with four points each.

GMs Richard Bitoon and Oliver Barbosa, International Masters (IM) Jan Emmanuel Garcia and Haridas Pascua are in a group of 3.5-pointers with GMs Avetik Grigoryan of Armenia and IM Narayanan Sunilduth Lyna of India.

In the sixth round, Pantsulaia faces Popov, Gomez meets Sadorra, Grigoryan battles Bitoon, Barbosa tackles Pascua, Garcia takes on Sunilduth Lyna, and Demchenko fights Filipino IM Oliver Dimakiling in the 10-round tournament sanctioned by the International Chess Federation.

Last week, Pantsulaia topped the 2014 Philippine International Chess Championship with Popov placing second and Merab Gagunashvili ending up third.

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