SECOND seed Grandmaster Anton Demchenko of Russia defeated Filipino Fide Master Randy Segarrain 95 moves to grab a share of the lead with six others after three rounds of the Philippine International Chess Championships at the Subic Bay Peninsular Hotel in Zambales.
Demchenko moves to the top along with top seed GM Wang Hao of China, who fought No. 5 Mikheil Michedishvili of Georgia to a 34-move draw of an Anti-Gruenfeld Alekhine Variation, with 2.5 points each.
Fourth seed GM Levan Pantsulaia of Georia drew with seventh-seeded compatriot Merab Gagunashvili in 32 moves of a Caro-kann to also grab a share of the lead.
Joining them on top were No. 6 GM Vladislav Kovalev of Belarus, who dismantled International Master Ronald Bancod's Bishop's Opening in 45 moves, and Woman GM Lei Tingjie of China, who trounced Indian International Master Puranik Abhimanyu in 36 moves of the Zukefort Opening.
Segarra, 38, earlier stunned GM Kirill Stupak in the first round and halved the point with GM Vladislav Kovalev in the second round of the tournament sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission and National Chess Federation of the Philippines.
"There were some opportunities to draw but just couldn't take advantage of it," said Segarra, a bank employee and coach of the La Salle chess team in the UAAP.
IM Paulo Bersamina and GM John Paul Gomez drew with their fancied opponents.
Bersamina halved the point with No. 3 Boris Savchenko of Russia in 56 moves of a King's Indian Defense, while Gomez, the highest ranked Filipino in the tournament at No. 9, drew with Armenian GM Tigran Kotanjian in 30 moves of a Queen's Gambit Accepted.
In the challenger side, top seed John Marvin Miciano beat Vince Angelo Medina to move to the top with Jonathan Jota, Brylle Gever Vinluan, Leodegario Ricana and Fide Master Austin Jacob Literatus.