Filed Under: Chess,Philippines — Dresden Olympian John Paul Gomez extracted the full point at the expense of Fide Master Jan Emmanuel Garcia in the seventh round on Monday to regain the solo lead in the Phoenix Petroleum 3rd “Battle of GMs” at the Character Hotel here.
Gomez forced Garcia to resign in 60 moves of the Pirc Defense and jumped to 6.0 points, half a point ahead of two-time champion GM Wesley So with four rounds to go.
“I was lucky to pull it (victory) off,” said Gomez, who persevered against Garcia as they both have two pawns and a bishop of the same color.
Gomez, a mechanical engineering graduate of De La Salle University, eventually forced the 14-year-old Garcia to resign with a threat of mate or a pawn promotion.
So was even luckier as he escaped with a draw against International Master Rolando Nolte after 68 moves of a King’s Indian Defense.
Handling black, So gave up a bishop and a knight to launch an attack on Nolte’s kingside.
Nolte defended well, however, and parried the threat as So blundered on his 33rd move. Nolte missed the winning line on the 40th, though.
So eventually managed to grab Nolte’s lone pawn and forced the draw with his rook against Nolte’s rook and knight.
Other games saw GMs Rogelio Antonio and Darwin Laylo agreeing to a draw after 19 moves of the Sicilian; IM Ronald Dableo beating IM Oliver Dimakiling in 35 of the French Defense: and IMs Richard Bitoon and Julio Catalino Sadorra splitting the point in 70 of another French.
Antonio, who lost his sixth-round match to So by default, remained third with 4.5 points.
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