INTERNATIONAL MASTER Oliver Dimakiling needs only a draw to get his second grandmaster norm.
The former De La Salle standout is set to face top seed GM Oliver Barbosa late Friday in the ninth round of the 2012 National Open Chess Championships at the Old Buswang Cabagnot Training Center in Kalibo, Aklan.
"A draw against the top seed in any competition is as good as a win," said Dimakiling. "So hindi na masama lalo na kung may bonus na GM norm 'yung draw."
Dimakiling earned his first GM norm after finishing as co-champion in the 2006 Malaysian Open.
A player needs to complete the required three norms and at least reach 2500 Elo rating once. Dimakiling has already accomplished the latter.
His main focus is still to qualify outright for the team that will compete in this year's World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey on August 27 to September 10.
"GM norm or no GM norm, my game plan is still the same and that is to stay aggressive. You need to win games lalo na at three outright slots lang sa Olympiad ang pinaglalabanan," he said.
He's currently leading the tournament dubbed as "Battle of the Grandmasters." Even without the title, Dimakiling is showing that he belongs.