Asia’s first Grandmaster (GM) Eugene Torre outclassed National Master (NM) Hamed Nouri in the fourth round to stay on top along with two other players in the 2016 National Chess Championship – Battle of the Grandmasters being held at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.
Torre improved to three points, the same score of GM Jayson Gonzales and International Master (IM) Chito Garma.
Gonzales defeated GM Rogelio Barcenilla while Garma outplayed NM Emmanuel Emperado in their respective fourth-round matches.
IM Paulo Bersamina, GM Joey Antonio and untitled John Marvin Miciano are sharing the No. 4 position with 2.5 each while GM John Paul Gomez, GM Darwin Laylo and Nouri are in a three-way tie for seventh place with two points apiece.
Bersamina and Antonio agreed to a draw, Miciano split the point wit IM Haridas Pascua, and Gomez and Laylo also drew their game.
In the fifth round, Torre guns for victory over Antonio while Gonzales faces Gomez, Garma meets Bersamina, Miciano takes on Barcenilla, Pascua tackles NM Michael Gotel, Laylo fights Emperado, and Nouri collides with FIDE Master Narquinden Reyes.
In the women’s division, Woman IM (WIM) Janelle Mae Frayna, WIM Bernadette Galas, WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda and Woman NM Christy Bernales grabbed the No. 1 spot with three points each.
The top three players, both in men and women, will represent the country in the prestigious 42nd World Chess Olympiad slated on September 1 to 14 in Baku, Azerbaijan.