KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Grandmaster Darwin Laylo continued to flex his muscles in the DYTM Raja Nazrin Shah International 2012 on Wednesday at the Olympic Sports Hotel here.
Laylo outplayed local bet Ng Tze Han in their French encounter, cornering the latter's king on the eighth rank of h-file and forcing him to resign after 35 moves.
The win gave the eighth seeded Filipino a share of first place with 3.0 points in as many rounds alongside GM Cao Sang and International Master Nguyen Van Huy of Vietnam.
Cao defeated Eden Diano after just 23 moves of Benoni while Nguyen outlasted IM Ronald Dableo after 77 moves of Reti Opening.
"It's obviously a good start, but we still have six more rounds. You have to keep on winning in a Swiss System tournament." said Laylo. "The challenge is to maintain or up the level of play in the coming rounds."
GMs Oliver Barbosa and Mark Paragua were held to fighting draws by their compatriots to take a step back and share a piece of fourth spot.
Barbosa split the point with IM Rolando Nolte after 58 moves of King's Indian while Paragua drew with IM Oliver Dimakiling after 41 moves of French Opening.
Also with 2.5 points were GMs Sergei Tiviakov of the Netherlands, Nguyen Anh Dung of Vietnam, Raset Ziatdinov of the United States and Tahir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan.
Tiviakov and Nguyen agreed to a truce in their Scandinavian tussle while Ziatdinov and Vakhidov halved the point in their King's Pawn Game encounter.
The less heralded Filipinos in the field handled themselves well.
FIDE Master Julius de Ramos toppled erstwhile co-leader Sean Winshand Cuhendi of Indonesia after 24 moves of English Opening while Jimson Bitoon stunned IM Kirill Kuderinov of Kazakhstan after 41 moves of Ruy Lopez.
Both de Ramos and Bitoon raised their total to 2.5 points.
Unrated Franz Barretto and National Master Almario Marlon Bernardino also improved their total following impressive victories.
Barretto notched his second straight win after dropping the first match, this time taking the scalp of Poompong Wiwatanadate of Thailand in just 25 moves of King's Indian Defense while Bernardino rebounded from a disappointing defeat in the previous round and improved to 1.5 points after his 30-move disposal of Malaysian Jenn Yong.
The tournament organized by Polgar Chess Asia for Kuala Lumpur Chess Association (KLCA) is supported by the Malaysian Chess Federation and sponsored by Masterskill Education Group.