Laylo grabs solo lead in Victory National Open chess
07/06/2009 11:30 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Former World Chess Cup campaigner GM Darwin Laylo outclassed fellow GM Jayson Gonzales in a battle of heavyweights to assume the solo lead in the sixth round of the Victory Central Mall National Open chess championship.

Laylo, presently ranked seventh overall in the country with an ELO of 2497, played superbly with the white pieces to clinch the win over his Dreden Olympiad teammate Gonzales in this tough, nine-round tournament.

The win – Laylo’s fifth against one draw – enabled the pride of Lipa City to grab the solo lead with 5.5 points after Sunday’s hostilities at the Victory Central Mall in Caloocan City.

Laylo is now half a point ahead of topseed GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. and GM John Paul Gomez, who hammered out similar morale-boosting victories over NM Efren Bagamasbad and IM Barlo Nadera, respectively.

In the seventh round, Laylo will test the mettle of Gomez while Antonio will take on Gonzales.

GM Mark Paragua and NM Emmanuel Senador agreed to a draw to stay within striking distance of the P100,000 top purse.

Paragua, a member of the Philippine team to the World Mind Games in Beijing, China last year, is tied for fourth to ninth places with 4.5 points.

Also with the same score of 4.5 points are IM Richard Bitoon, who outclassed NM Alex Milagrosa; IM Chito Garma, who outwitted younger brother Edgardo Garma; and Christian Arroyo, who humbled David Elorta.

No. 12 seed FM Leonardo Carlos outplayed Melvin Salutan, Deniel Causo downed Alvin Divinagracia, Ali Branzuela bested Robert Cacho , Efren Arguelles repulsed Rolando Andador and Alcon John Datu crushed Quirino Sagario to keep their slim hopes alive with four points. – GMANews.TV

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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