KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Grandmaster Oliver Barbosa took the measure of International Master Duong The Anh of Vietnam in the sixth round to keep his hopes of retaining the title alive in the DYTM Raja Nazrin Shah International Open Chess Championship 2012 at the Olympic Sports Hotel here.
After a relatively dismal start, Barbosa hit his stride on the third day of competition to gain a share of third spot with 4.5 points behind co-leaders GM Sergei Tiviakov and Jodi Setyaki Azarya of Indonesia.
Barbosa only had 2.5 points after four rounds, but won consecutive matches on Thursday capped by his 43-move win over Duong in their London encounter.
The top seeded Tiviakov halved the point with GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. of India after just 13 moves of Queen's Indian Defense while the unrated Azarya, easily the biggest surprise in the tournament, toppled IM Vishnu Prassana V. of India after 54 moves of Ruy Lopez.
Joining Barbosa in the huge chase group were GMs Mark Paragua, Darwin Laylo of the Philippines, Cao Sang and Nguyen Anh Dung of Vietnam and Raset Ziatdinov of the United States, IMs Rolando Nolte of the Philippines, Jahongir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan and Nguyen Van Huy of Vietnam and FIDE Master Ronnie Lim of Malaysia.
Barbosa also unwittingly affected in a positive way the result of compatriot National Master Almario Marlon Bernardino's game.
Bernardino was about to resign after finding himself in a cramped position against Chakravarthi K. of India, but decided to wait until Barbosa finished his match.
"Barbie (Barbosa) promised to treat me for dinner so I decided to wait for him," said Bernardino.
His "patience" was rewarded when Chakravarthi made a positional blunder that opened the gates for a counter-attack. Bernardino eventually took the victory after 39 moves of Sicilian and pushed his total to 3.5 points.
Also in contention with 4.0 points each were GMs Wong Meng Kong of Singapore and Tahir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan, IM Oliver Dimakiling and FM Julius de Ramos.
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.