UNITED States-based Filipino Grandmaster Julio Catalino Sadorra downed countryman International Master Barlo Nadera Tuesday night and kept pace with Russian GM Ivan Popov and Georgian GM Levan Pantsulaia in the PSC-Puregold International Chess Challenge at Celebrity Sports Plaza in Quezon City.
Sadorra, now the country's top player following the transfer of GM Wesley So to the United States Chess Federation, raised his total to a perfect 3.0 points, the same as the top-seeded Popov and Pantsulaia, winner of last week's Philippine International Chess Championship.
The 28-year-old Sadorra, who manned board one for the Philippines in this year's Tromso Chess Olympiad, earlier beat Paulo James Florendo and IM Oliver Dimakiling in succession.
Popov (Elo 2622) subdued Filipino GM John Paul Gomez while Pantsulaia (2583) bested another Filipino, GM Darwin Laylo, in the third round of the $30,000 tournament sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission and Puregold.
Just hours after pulling off a shocker over Russian GM Anton Demchenko, International Master Haridas Pascua continued to surprise by forging a draw with Armenian GM Avetik Grigoryan after 37 moves of a Benoni Defense. They both climbed to 2.5 points.
Demchenko, seeded second, rebounded with a victory over Noel Dela Cruz and shared 2.0 points with 13 others in the Open division.
Also with the same score are International Master Paulo Bersamina, Gomez, fifth placer in the PH International Championship; Laylo, Nadera, Dimakiling, Georgian GM Merab Gagunashvili, IM Rolando Nolte, IM Emmanuel Senador, Indian IM Narayanan Sunilduth Lyna, GM Richard Bitoon, David Elorta, GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. and Alcon John Datu.
Bersamina, 16, drew with Antonio; Barbosa drew with Raymond Salcedo, Elorta beat Kim Steven Yap, Bitoon tamed Emmanuel Emperado, Dimakiling defeated Fide Master Mari Joseph Torqueza, Senador repulsed Woman IM Bernadette Galas, and Datu thwarted Onofre Espiritu. Nolte tripped Woman FM Shania Mae Mendoza while Gagunashvili and Sunilduth Lyna drew their match.
Among those at 1.5 points are Mozharov, GM Oliver Barbosa ,GM Jayson Gonzales, executive director of the organizing National Chess Federation of the Philippines, and IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia.
Barbosa drew with Raymond Salcedo and so did Gonzales with IM Richilieu Salcedo. Garcia hurdled WIM Janelle Mae Frayna.
The fourth round of the tournament, supported by Asia United Bank, Burlington, Celebrity Sports Plaza, Microtel and Harold's Hotel, was being played last night.
Key matches pit Sadorra against Popov, Grigoryan against Pantsulaia and Pascua against Gomez.