Asia’s first Grandmaster (GM) Eugene Torre and International Master (IM) Haridas Pascua both scored a couple of victories to share the top spot with three other players in the 2015 Asian Zone 3.3 Zonal Chess Championships in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Torre outclassed untitled Vietnamese Tran Ngoc Lan in the first round and another Vietnam bet Vo Thanh Ninh in the second round while Pascua overwhelmed Tranh Minh Trang of Vietnam in the first before stunning compatriot GM Julio Catalino Sadorra in the second.
Torre and Pascua joined fellow unbeaten players GM Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa of Mongolia, IM Wyann Zaw Htun of Myanmar and IM Nguyen Van Huy of Vietnam in the first place.
GMs Richard Bitoon and Darwin Laylo are in a group of 1.5-pointers. Bitoon defeated Nguyen Phuoc Tam of Vietnam then drew with top seed Le Quang Liem of Vietnam while Laylo toppled Htay Minh Lwin of Myanmar and split the point with FIDE Master (FM) Le Tuan Minh.
Sadorra, GM John Paul Gomez, GM Oliver Barbosa and IM Rolando Nolte have one point each, and IM Paulo Bersamina and GM Joey Antonio got half point apiece. FM Mari Joseph Turqueza lost in the first two rounds of the nine-round tournament, which serves as a qualifying for the prestigious World Cup slated on September 10 to October 4 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The champion gets $2,000 and the runner-up takes home $1,500.