MANILA, Philippines -- Mark Paragua subdued Indian International Master (IM) Debashis Das in the ninth round to join countrymen and fellow Grand Masters (GMs) John Paul Gomez and Oliver Barbosa at the top of the standings in the ongoing 10th Parsvnath International Grandmasters Chess Tournament in New Delhi, India late Saturday.
Paragua prevailed using the advantageous white pieces after 36 moves of Semi-Slav variation.
"Mark showed sheer attacking game with three continuous piece sacrifices in the middle of the game to garner the full point against his Indian rival," said National Chess Federation of the Philippines chairman and president Prospero Pichay Jr.
"We just hope our players will continue to play well in the succeeding rounds," Pichay added.
Gomes, on the other hand, halved the point with IM Shyam Nikil P of India after 48 moves of a French defense, while Barbosa drew with GM Evgeny Gleizerov of Russia after 29 moves of the Queen's Pawn Game.
The three Filipino GMs tallied 7.5 points in nine outings, half point ahead over a huge group of 7 pointers.
Meanwhile, another Filipino GM, Richard Bitoon, toppled Nasir Ali Syed of India to raise his total to 5.5 points and move to a share of 60th to 91st places.
In the 10th round, Paragua will battle compatriot Barbosa in Board 1, Gomez will be opposite Chakkravarthy J in Board 2, and Bitoon will go up against IM Sahu Sekhar Chandra of India in Board 3. -- By Marlon Bernardino.