MANILA, Philippines – International Master (IM) Oliver Dimakiling defeated National Master (NM) Giovanni Mejia late Sunday to maintain solo leadership in the 2012 National Open Chess Championships at the Cabagnot Training Center in Kalibo, Aklan.
Dimakiling, who earned his second Grand Master (GM) norm last Saturday, improved his total to 17.0 points after 11 rounds.
GM Mark Paragua remained in second place with 16.0 points following his victory over fellow GM Roland Salvador.
Meanwhile, the battle for the third spot – and the final outright slot in the men’s team for this year’s World Chess Olympiad – heated up after the top contenders settled for draws.
GM Darwin Laylo split the point with GM Eugene Torre, while GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio also drew with GM John Paul Gomez. Laylo and Antonio hiked their total to 14.0 points.
Meanwhile, GM Julio Catalino Sadorra was just half a point behind after beating Fide Master Haridas Pascua.
Torre and Gomez remain in the hunt with 12.0 points apiece.
The event is scored using the Torre-Pichay system, a method formulated by Torre and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president and chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr.
In this system, a win equals two points, a draw is one point, a loss is zero, and a stalemate counts as 1.5 points for the last player to make a move and 0.5 for the player who can no longer make a move.
Top Filipino player Wesley So is already assured of a slot in the Olympiad. The NCFP also has the option of picking up a fifth player for the team.
Meanwhile, in the women’s division, IM Catherine Perena toppled Eden Tumbos to raise her total of 17.0 points and keep the lead.
NM Janelle Mae Frayna remained in second place with 15.0 points after a draw against Krizza Lyn Abasolo, while NM Jedara Docena climbed into third with 14.5 points after a stalemate against Shania Mae Mendoza.
Three outright slots to the Olympiad are also at stake in the women’s division. By Marlon Bernardino