Top seed GM Abhijeet Gupta of India defeated co-leader GM Anton Demchenko of Russia to grab solo lead after the fifth round of the Philippine International Chess Championships held at the Subic Bay Peninsular Hotel, Burgos corner Canal Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olongapo City, Zambales.
Gupta, with a rating of 2633, went on to beat Demchenko (2592) in a seemingly drawish Sicilian game in 105 moves, Demchenko overlooked a saving move in time scramble and lost after a forced exchange of his Rook for a queening Pawn and a Bishop. Gupta has 4.5 points in 5 games of play.
In solo second with 4 points is International Master Lin Chen who upset Russian GM Vladimir Belous in 50 moves of an English Opening, Anglo-Slav variation. Six players followed him with 3.5 points: GM Demchenko, second seed GM Alexander Zubov of Ukraine, GM Vitaly Sivuk (Ukraine), GM Anton Shomoev (Russia), GM Lu Shanglei (China) and GM Chakkravarthy Deepan od India.
GM Zubov dealt our GM Laylo his second loss in a Caro-Kann, Accelerated Panov Attack in 39 moves, GM Sivuk drew with GM Shomoev after 88 moves of a Ruy Lopez, GM Lu stopped our hopeful IM Yves Rañola in 30 moves of an English Opening, Anglo-Dutch Defense and GM Deepan drew his game with GM Boris Savchenko also in an English Opening, King’s English Variation in 31 moves.
But the day belongs to International Master Rolando Nolte who upset GM Mikhail Mozharov of Russia in 50 moves of a Spanish Game (Ruy Lopez) and National Master Roel Abelgas who also upset International Master Sean Winshand Cuhendi of Indonesia in 47 moves of an Indian Game, Kingside Fianchetto. GM Joey Antonio drew his game with Battle of the Masters Champion GM Richard Bitoon in a Nimzo-Indian Defense Classical Variation. IM Nolte and NM Abelgas have 3 points while GM Antonio and GM Bitoon have 2.5.
In the Challenger division, four players are tied for the lead with 3.5 points after four rounds: Kevin Mirano, Jeth Romy Morado, Lennon Hart Salgados and WFM Shania Mae Mendoza. Mirano drew with WFM Mendoza in 37 moves of a French Defense, Salgados won against John Estrada Salcedo in 48 moves of a Pirc Defense Classical system and Morado demolished Paul Robert Evangelista also in a Classical Pirc in 26 moves. Below them with 3 points are Seniors champion Verth Alora, John Marvin Miciano, Ferdinand Aviles, Jan Francis Mirano and Christopher Diaz.
The tournament is the first of two tournaments being organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and supported financially by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) headed by its Chairman, the Honorable Ricardo R. Garcia in cooperation with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) headed by its President, the Honorable Jose S. Cojuangco, Jr.