INTERNATIONAL MASTER Oliver Dimakiling needed to go through the qualifying phase to play in the event dubbed as the "Battle of the Grandmasters."
With the way he's playing right now, the pride of Davao is leaving no doubt that he belongs.
Dimakiling continued his remarkable run in the 2012 National Open Chess Championships by beating top seed Grandmaster Oliver Barbosa and nailing his second GM norm in the process late Saturday at the Cabagnot Training Center in Old Buswang, Kalibo Aklan.
It was the sixth straight win for Dimakiling, who dropped two of his first three games. He improved his leading total to 14.0 points on seven wins and two losses.
"It's great to beat the top seed and get a (GM) norm but I still have a lot of work to do. It's a very long tournament," said Dimakiling, who earned his first GM norm during the 3rd Dato' Arthur Tan Malaysia Open Chess Championship in 2006.
GM Mark Paragua, who also had a slow start, kept the leader within sight with 13.0 points following his victory over GM Eugene Torre.
Also making their move to gain an outright seat to this year's World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey on August 27 to September 10 were GMs Darwin Laylo and Julio Catalino Sadorra. The top three finishers are guaranteed to join the team.
Laylo downed FIDE Master Randy Segarra to raise his total to 12.0 points while Sadorra improved to 11.5 points following his conquest of FM Roderick Nava.
The event is using the Torre-Pichay scoring system, a method formulated by Torre and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero "Butch" Pichay, Jr. where a win is equivalent to two points, a draw is one point, a loss is zero, and a stalemate is 1.5 for the last player to make a move and 0.5 to the player who can no longer make a move.
Supporting the tournament are the Boracay Chess Club, Aklan Gov. Carlito S. Marquez, Lone District of Aklan Rep. Florencio T. Miraflores, Club Paraw owned by Malay Councilor Hon. Wilbec M. Gelito and Willy's Beach Resort owned by Gen. Manager Rochanie G. Gadon, Kolai Mangyan owner Mr. Lowell Gucilo and Tawhay Condotel owner Arwen Barrios.