Leaders after two rounds:
2.0 points—M. Paragua, D. Laylo, R. Bitoon, O. Dimakiling, B. Nadera, C. Garma, F. Donguinez, R. Bancod, M. Maga, E. Lao, J. Garcia, R. Legaspi, J. Habla, J. Salubre, J. de Ramos, V. Villanueva. X. Verdun, M. Yu.
PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija—Grandmasters Mark Paragua and Darwin Laylo notched their second straight wins Thursday to keep their share of the lead with 16 others in the 1st Gov. Aurelio Umali Cup chess championship at the Sierra Madre Suites here.
Handling white, Paragua downed Jake De la Cruz in 36 moves of a London Opening while Laylo bested Robert Suelo Jr. with black in 31 moves of a Slav to boost their chances for the P200,000 champion’s purse in the nine-round P1-million Swiss System event that lured a big field of 159 players.
Also with 2.0 points were International Masters Oliver Dimakiling, Richard Bitoon, Barlo Nadera and Ronald Bancod, FIDE Master Fernie Donguines, Mirabeau Maga, Joey Habla, Jayson Salubre, Manny Yu, Julius Joseph De Ramos, Elias Lao, Edgardo Garma, Xavier John Verdun, Rhobel Legaspi, Vic Neil Villanueva and Ateneo high school student Jan Emmanuel Garcia.
Top favorite Eugene Torre and fellow GMs Bong Villamayor, John Paul Gomez—the Philippines’ top scorer in last year’s Dresden Chess Olympiad, and Jayson Gonzales settled for draws and tied with 37 others at 1.5 points.
Unable to gain headway with white, Torre opted to split the point with Allan Cantonjos after 48 moves of a Pirc Defense and so did Villamayor against Alcon John Datu after 55 moves of an English Opening.
Gonzales agreed to a truce with black against Antonio Chavez Jr. after 53 moves of an Alekhein, and so did Gomez against Alex Milagrosa after 41 moves of a Sicilian.
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