A new leader in International Master Oliver Dimakiling assumed the top spot in the 2012 National Open Chess Championships Friday at the Paraw Club in Boracay.
Dimakiling, who steered De La Salle to numerous UAAP men’s chess championships in the past, drubbed FIDE Masters Haridas Pascua in the eight round and surprisingly found himself alone on top as previous co-leaders GMs Joey Antonio and Darwin Laylo fell by the wayside one after the other.
Antonio lost to GM Roland Salvador, while Laylo suffered the same fate against GM Rogelio Barcenilla.
Dimakiling now has a 12.0 total, while Antonio and Laylo were stuck at 10.0.
GM Mark Paragua climbed to solo second with 11 with his victory over FM Randy Segarra, while GM Eugene Torre kept himself in the hunt with 10.0 points after another draw, this time against top seed GM Oliver Barbosa.
The top three finishers in the tournament dubbed `Battle of the Grandmasters’ 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 is already assured of a slot while the National Chess Federation of the Philippines has the option to pick the fifth player of the men’s team.
Woman International Master Catherine Perena paced the women’s division with 13.0 points followed by Woman FIDE Master Cherry Ann Mejia and Woman National Master Janelle Mae Frayna with 12.0 points each.
The top three finishers in the women’s will gain outright seats to the Olympiad.