GRANDMASTER Mark Paragua and FIDE Master Haridas Pascua toppled their respective opponents to stay tied at the top going to the final round of the Philippine Sports Commission Cup International Chess Championship at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium late Friday night.
Paragua bested Mongolian IM Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa, while Pascua pulled off an upset against countryman GM Richard Bitoon.
The victories left Paragua and Pascua sharing the top spot with similar 7.0 points, paving the way for an exciting final round set Sunday in the fight for the US$6,000 champion's purse.
GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. and GM John Paul Gomez also won their matches for a share of third to fourth place on 6.0 points in the US$30,000 nine-round Swiss system tournament.
Antonio dispatched compatriot Hamed Nouri, as Gomez downed Fide Master Gombosuren Munkhgal to close in the leaders.
GM Darwin Laylo, Gundavaa, GM Aleksandr Rakhamanov, IM Rolando Nolte, and Bitoon grabbed joint fifth with 5.5 points.