GRANDMASTER Darwin Laylo rebounded strong after absorbing his first loss in the 2012 National Open Chess Championships at the Paraw Club in Boracay.
The former national junior champion defeated erstwhile solo leader GM Rogelio "Joey" Antonio in the seventh round on Thursday to grab a share of the lead in the event dubbed as "Battle of the Grandmasters."
Laylo, who lost to GM Julio Catalino Sadorra in the sixth round, caught Antonio on top with 10.0 points. International Master Oliver DImakiling joined them there by beating GM John Paul Gomez.
GMs Eugene Torre and Mark Paragua were just a step behind with 9.0 points. Torre scalped FIDE Master Randy Segarra while Paragua toppled GM Rogelio Barcenilla.
The streaking Sadorra moved to solo fifth with 8.5 points following his conquest of GM Roland Salvador.
The event is using the Torre-Pichay scoring system, a method formulated by National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero "Butch" Pichay, Jr. and Torre where a win is equivalent to two points, a draw is one point, a loss is zero, and a stalemate is 1.5 for the aggressor and 0.5 to the player who can no longer make a move.
The top three finishers will gain outright seats in the men's national team competing in this year's World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey on August 27 to September 10.
Top Filipino player GM Wesley So (Elo 2650) is already assured of a slot while NCFP has the option to pick the fifth player of the men's team.
Supporting the event are the Boracay Chess Club, Aklan Gov. Carlito S. Marquez, Lone District of Aklan Rep. Florencio T. Miraflores, Club Paraw owned by Malay Councilor Hon. Wilbec M. Gelito and Willy's Beach Resort owned by Gen. Manager Rochanie G. Gadon, Kolai Mangyan owner Mr. Lowell Gucilo and Tawhay Condotel owner Arwen Barrios.