UNITED States-based Grandmaster Julio Catalino Sadorrra bested fellow Filipino Fide Master Paulo Bersamina yesterday to share the lead with four foreign GMs in the second round of the Philippine International Chess Championship a Celebrity Sports Plaza in Quezon City.
Russians Anton Demchenko and Mikhail Mozarov and Georgians Levan Pantsulaia and Merab Gagunashvili also notched their second straight victories and paced the Open division of the $30,000 tournament sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission and Puregold.
Demchenko, the second seed, beat GM Darwin Laylo; Mozharov downed International Master Hariads Pascua, Pantsulaia tamed GM Eugene Torre, while Gagunashvli trounced GM Richard Bitoon.
Veteran GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. and top seed GM Ivan Popov (Elo 2622) of Russia drew their match to lead the 1.5 pointers in the nine-round tournament being supported by Celebrity Sports Plaza, Asia United Bank, Burlington, Microtel and Harold's Hotel.
Also at 1.5 were Armenian GM Avetik Grigoryan and Indian IM Narayanan Sunilduth Lina, who drew their match; GM Oliver Barbosa and FM Randy Segarra, who also split the point; GM John Paul Gomez and FM Sander Severino, who halved the point; and Sheider Nebato, who drew with Noel Dela Cruz (0.5).
Sadorra, the sixth seed who manned board 1 for the Philippines in this year's Tromso Chess Olympiad, is tangling with Pantsulaia, ranked No. 3, in the third round being played at press time last night.
Other key matches pitted Gagunashvili against Demchenko and Mozharov against Popov.
Newly minted WIM MikeeCharlene Suede, winner of the Girls' division of the just-concluded 2014 Asian Juniors Championships, showed her mettle by beating IM Joel Pimentel and notching 1.0 point.
WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, on the other hand, drew with Paulo James Florendo for 0.5 point.
Two other female woodpushers—WIM Janelle Mae Frayna and WFM Marie Antoinette San Diego—entered in the Open division, however, remained scoreless following setbacks against IM Ronald Bancod and Merben Roque, respectively.
Bancod was at 1.0 point in the company of Laylo, Torre, Bitoon, Bersamina, Pascua and IM Kim Steven Yap, who tamed Mongolian FM Sumiya Bilguun, FM Jony Habla, Roel Abelgas and Roque.