MANILA, Philippines — Grand Master (GM) John Paul Gomez continued his winning ways to keep the Philippine flag high in the SDAT-RMK 4th Chennai Open Grand Master Chess Tournament on Sunday in Chennai, India.
This, despite countryman GM Richard Bitoon losing in the sixth round of the tourney.
Gomez toppled Navin Kanna of India, raising his total to 5 points to climb to a share of the fifth to 15th placers. He is in the company of GM Martin Kravtsiv of Ukraine, GM Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh, GM Hoang Thanh Trang of Hungary, Ma Qun and Zeng Chongsheng of China, GM Sheturaman SP, International Masters (IMs) Himashu Sharma, Konguvel Ponnuswaymy, Karthikeyan P and Debashins Das of India.
Meanwhile, Bitoon’s setback means he is stuck with 4 points and has dropped into a tie for 41st to 77th place, along with compatriots GMs Mark Paragua and Oliver Barbosa.
Paragua split the point with Hemant Sharma of India, while Barbosa routed Harini S of India.
Top seed GM Aleksei Aleksandrov of Belarus defeated IM Jahongir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan. He now has 5.5 points and is in a 4-way tie for first place, along with GM Mikhailo Oleksienko of Ukraine, IM Vaibhav Suri of India and Yu Ruiyuan of China.
In the seventh round, Gomez will meet IM Karthikeyan, while Bitoon faces off against Hemant. Barbosa will battle Pradeep Kumar of India while Paragua tangles Navalgund Niranjan of India.
The India chess campaign is part of the Philippine chess team’s preparation for the 38th World Chess Olympiad set later this year in Istanbul, Turkey. — By Marlon Bernardino.