FILIPINO Grandmasters Oliver Barbosa and John Paul Gomez defeated their respective rivals to remain on top after the 10th and penultimate round of the 10th Parsvnath International Grandmasters Chess Tournament at Ludlow Castle Sports Complex, Civil Lines in New Delhi, India late Sunday (January 22).
Barbosa defeated countryman GM Mark Paragua after 33 moves of Gruenfeld Defense while Gomez beat GM Deepan Chakkravarthy of India after 42 moves of King's Indian Defense.
"We are hoping that Oliver and John Paul can maintain their momentum heading into the final round," said National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) chairman/president Prospero "Butch" Pichay, Jr.
The campaign of the Filipino GMs in India is part of the Philippine Team preparation for this year's 38th World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey. Supporting them are the NCFP, Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee.
Barbosa and Gomez pushed their total to 8.5 points, half-a-point ahead of International Masters Lalith Babu M R, Shyam Nikil P and Rathnakaran K of India and Ma Qun of China.
Paragua, meanwhile, was stuck at 7.5 points and dropped into a share of 7th to 12th places in the company of GM Evgeny Gleizerov of Russia, GM Martyn Kravtsiv of Ukraine, GM Abhijit Kunte and IMs Vaibhav Suri and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi of India.
GM Richard Bitoon crushed IM Sahu Sekhar Chandra of India to raise his total 6.5 points, good for share of 34th to 58th places.