DARWIN LAYLO bested compatriot and fellow grandmaster (GM) John Paul Gomez to assume solo lead after the fifth round of the Chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay Cup chess championship yesterday at the Subic Bay Travellers Hotel in Subic, Olongapo City.
The Marikina City-native Laylo played superbly with the disadvantageous black pieces to clinch the win over Gomez.
The win gave Laylo the solo lead with 5.0 points, a full point ahead of Gomez, top-seed GM Merab Gagunashvili and GM David Arutinian of Georgia, GM Li Shilong, GM Wen Yang, GM Xu Jun and Lu Shanglei of China, who all have 4.0 points each.
In the sixth round, Laylo will test the mettle of Gagunashvili, who drew his match vs Lu. In other results, Arutinian defeated GM Cerdas Barus of Indonesia, Li routed countryman Zeng Chongseng of China, Wen split a point with GM Zhang Zhong of Singapore and Xu toppled IM Liu Dede of Indonesia.
Newly installed IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia of the Philippines smashed FM Khairul Anam of Indonesia to lead a huge group of 3.5 pointers that include Zhang, GM Eugene Torre, GM Mark Paragua, IM Richard Bitoon, IM Oliver Dimakiling, NM Alex Milagrosa and NM Roger Sarip of the Philippines, Wang Chen, Ma Qun and Wan Yunguo of China and 2011 3.3 Zone Champion GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia.
Correspondent Marlon Bernardino
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