Russian Grandmaster Boris Savchenko dealt GM Darwin Laylo a big blow to his ambition for the championship to grab solo leadership in the fifth round of the PSC/Puregold International Chess challenge held at the Subic Bay Peninsular Hotel, Subic Freeport Zone, Olongapo City, Zambales.
Savchenko, displaying endgame prowess, subdued Laylo in a Queen against Rook endgame from a Gruenfeld Defense that ended in 86 moves. With five points, he remains undefeated in five rounds and faces compatriot GM Mikhail Mozharov in the 6th round. Mozharov drew his game with IM Oliver Dimakiling in 51 moves of a Pirc/Philidor.
The only other decisive game of the 3 pointers was that of GM Vitaly Sivuk who won over IM Joel Pimentel in 59 moves of an English Opening. Drawing their games were GM Chakkravarthy Deepan of India and GM Lu Shanglei of China, GM Eugene Torre (PHI) versus GM Anton Demchenko (Russia). IM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan (India) against IM Lin Chen (China), GM Tigran Kotanjian (Armenia) against GM Nguyen Duc Hoa (Vietnam) and IM Paulo Bersamina (PHI) against GM Alexander Zubov (Ukraine).
In the Challenger division, four players remain unbeaten after four rounds. Franz Robert Grafil, Sherwin Tiu, Rolly Parondo and Erickson Marimla.
The second international event is organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) with financial assistance from the Philippine Sports Commission headed by the Honorable Ricardo R. Garcia, PSC Chairman and in cooperation with the Philippine Olympic Committee through its President, the Honorable Jose R Cojuangco, Jr.
Major sponsors aside from the PSC are Asia United Bank (AUB), Burlington Performance Socks, MarcVentures Holdings Inc. and MarcVentures Mining and Development Corporation.