Philippines, 24 May 2018
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Pacquiao Asian Chess: Sadorra grabs solo lead

Individual Standings after Round 4:

(Open division)
4.0 points---GM Julio Catalino Sadorra (PHI)
3.5 points---GM Le Quang Liem (VIET), GM Mark Paragua (PHI)
3.0 points---GM Mohammed Al-Sayed (QAT), GM John Paul Gomez (PHI), GM Li Shilong (CHN), GM Li Chao (CHN), GM Richard Bitoon (PHI), GM Baskaran Adhiban (IND), GM Babu Lalith (IND), GM Gopal (IND), GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. (PHI), GM Marat Dzhumaev (UZB), GM Dao Thien Hai (VIET)

(Women's Division)
3.5 points---IM Batkhuyag Munguntuul (MGL)
3.0 points---WGM Huang Qian (CHN), WGM Mary Ann Gomes (IND), WGM Nafisa Muminova (UZB), WGM Guo Qi (CHN), WIM Hoang Thi Nhu Y (VIET), IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen (VIET), WGM Wang Jue (CHN), WGM Nguyen Thi Thanh An (VIET)

Manila---US based Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Julio Catalino Sadorra grabbed solo lead in the $100,000 Manny Pacquiao Cup Asian Continental Chess Championship following an impressive victory over erstwhile undefeated Qatari GM Mohammed Al-Sayed on Tuesday at the Midas Hotel and Casino here.

The 26-year-old Bacoor, Cavite native raised his total to 4.0 points in four rounds after 47 pushes of their King's Indian encounter using the white pieces. A rook sacrifice in the 25th move allowed Sadorra a clear win in the position in the succeeding moves.

"Na inspire po tayo ng bumisita at nanood ng laro si World Boxing Champion Rep. Manny Pacquiao at kaya naging agressive din laro ko kay GM Al Sayed," said Sadorra, a senior business administration student at University of Texas-Dallas.

When the smoke cleared, Sadorra had a rook and three pawns against Al-Sayed who had a rook and a pawn.

"Sinamantala ko din y'ung inaccuracy n'ya sa laro," added Sadorra, seeded ninth in the 76-player field with an ELO of 2561.

The nine-round Swiss System event offering $100,000 in prizes is organized by the GM Eugene Torre Chess Foundation and is sponsored by eight-division world boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, Cafe Puro, Alaxan, Oriental and Motolite Corp. is held under the auspices of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines headed by it's Chairman/President Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr., Secretary-General newly-elected Cavite 7th district Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino Jr., Asian Chess Federation and FIDE (World Chess Federation).

Top seed GM Le Quang Liem of Vietnam and GM Mark Paragua won their respective matches to share 2nd to 3rd place with 3.5 points apiece.

Le, who boasts an Elo rating of 2714, beat GM Darwin Laylo after 79 moves of Gruenfeld defense while Paragua subdued IM Wan Yunguo of China after 39 moves of Sicilian defense.

Al-Sayed, meantime dropped into a huge group of chasers with 3.0 points alongside GMs John Paul Gomez, Richard Bitoon and Rogelio Antonio Jr. of the Philippines, GMs Li Shilong and Li Chao of China, GMs Baskaran Adhiban, Babu Lalith and Gopal of India,GM Marat Dzhumaev of Uzbekistan and GM Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam.

Gomez and Li Chao halved the point after 27 moves of Slav defense; Bitoon and Baskaran Adhiban agreed a truce after 30 moves of Nimzo-Indian defense; Antonio stunned IM Husein Aziz Nezad of Qatar after 19 moves of Ruy Lopez Opening; Li Shilong downed FM Haridas Pascua after 59 moves of King's Indian defense; Lalith toppled IM Kiril Kuderinov of Kazakhstan after 66 moves of Slav defense; Gopal smashed Ervan Mohamad of Indonesia after 43 moves of French defense; Dzhumaev dealt IM Wang Chen of China after 65 moves of Sicilian defense; and Dao beat Emmanuel Emperado after 36 moves of Nimzo-Indian defense.

Paragua will face Sadorra in Wednesday's fifth round.

In the women's division, IM Batkhuyag Munguntuul of Mongolia crushed WIM Zhai Mo of China to seize the lead after the game between WGM Mary Ann Gomes of India opposite WGM Huang Qian of China as well
IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen and WGM Guo Qi of China ended into a fighting draw. Munguntuul now has 3.5 points.

WIM Catherine Perena defeated Wang Doudou of China to climb at 10th to 18th place along with compatriot WFM Marie Antoinette San Diego who split the point with WGM Hoang Thi Bao Tram of Vietnam who tote 2.5 points each.-Marlon Bernardino-

Photo: GM John Paul Gomez (seated, right) playing with GM Le Quang Liem of Vietnam. Looking on are eight-division world boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, Asia's First Grandmaster Eugene Torre and Asian Chess Federation Deputy President Casto Abundo. (Gener B. Lumanog).

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Marlon Bernardino.

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