By Rey Bancod
International Master Ricky de Guzman continued to turn back the hands of time with a victory Sunday to raise his output to 4 points after seven rounds of the 17th Asian Continental Chess championships at the Tiara Hotel in Makati.
The 57-year-old former Asian junior champion, playing white, scored his third victory at the expense of FIDE Master Yoseph Theolifus Taher of Indonesia.
The win came after De Guzman held former world women’s champion GM Tan Zhongyi of China to a draw Saturday.
Joining De Guzman as the best-placed Filipino in the Open section was GM John Paul Gomez who outplayed GM Joey Antonio with the black pieces.
De Guzman and Gomez, however, are 1.5 points behind co-leaders GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly of India and GM Amin Tabatabaei of Iran.
Ganguly bounced back from a sixth round loss to compatriot GM Santosh Gujrathi by shocking top seed GM Wang Hao of China.
Tabatabaei, on the other hand, took the measure of GM S.P. Sethuraman of India.
Six players are tied with 5 points apiece. They are GM Nguyen Ngoc Truongson and GM Le Quang Liem of Vietnam, GM Wei Yi of China, GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan, GM Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran and GM Santosh Gujrathi of India.
With only two rounds left, no Filipino player has a chance to clinch one of five sports to the World Cup next year in Russia.
With 3.5 points apiece are GM Darwin Laylo, IM Paulo Bersamina, IM John Marvin Miciano and untitled John Merill Jacutina.
In women’s play, WGM Janelle Mae Frayna, the country’s top bet, toppled compatriot WFM Allaney Jia Doroy to improve to 4 points, two points behind solo leader IM Rout Padmini of India.
Frayna shares 12th place with three players.
Four Filipinas are bunched with 3.5 points. They are WFM Shania Mae Mendoza, WIM Catherine Secopito, WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda and WCM Christy Lamiel Bernales.
Padmini stayed unbeaten following a draw with IM Guo Qi of China. She is a full point ahead of IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen of Vietnam, WGM Gong Qianyun of Singapore and WGM Wang Jue of China.
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