Standings after 10 rounds:
6.5 points -- H. Pascua, P. Bersamina
6 -- J. Gomez, R. Barcenilla
5 -- J. Jota
4.5 -- J. Morado
4 -- C. Garma
3.5 -- D. Laylo. R. Bancod
1.5 -- M. Concio
0 --R. Antonio
GM-CANDIDATE Haridas Pascua moved in strong position to rule the 2017 Battle of GMs-National Chess Championships, pulling off a sweep of IM Chito Garma in the ninth round and Jonathan Jota in the 10th and penultimate round at the Alpahaland Makati.
Pascua’s impressive back-to-back victories enabled him to join IM Paulo Bersamina in the lead with 6.5 points with only one round left in this 12-player, round-robin competition organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
Bersamina, one of the country’s most promising young players, bested IM Ronald Bancod in the ninth round and drew a bye the following round.
Final-round action will pit Pascua against Bancod and Bersamina against United States-based GM Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr. with the title vacated by GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr. at stake.
Top seed John Paul Gomez and Barcenilla share third to fourth places with six points.
Jota won over Jeth Romy Morado in the ninth round but lost to Pascua in the 10th round to lag behind in fifth place with five points.
Jota, a mainstay of the vaunted Lyceum of the Philippines University chess team, led in the early stages of the tournament following a pair of upset victories over Antonio and GM Darwin Laylo. He had a chance to earn an IM norm but blew it after deciding to default his seventh-round match against Gomez due to conflict with the NCAA schedules.
Meanwhile, Indonesia defeated the Philippines in a match between both countries’ upcoming players.
In three standard chess duels, Indonesia won the first round, 4.5-3.5 and drew the fourth round, 4-4.
In Round 5, Indonesia won 5.5-2.5.
In rapid chess, Indonesia and the Philippines drew in Round 3 and Round 2.
P. Bersamina vs R. Bancod 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 d6 5.O-O Be7 6.c3 O-O 7.Nbd2 h6 8.d4 Nd7 9.Re1 Bf6 10.Nf1 a6 11.Be2 b5 12.a4 Rb8 13.axb5 axb5 14.d5 Ne7 15.b4 Nb6 16.Ne3 Bd7 17.Nd2 c6 18.dxc6 Bxc6 19.Bf3 Bg5 20.Nb3 Bxe3 21.Bxe3 Nc4 22.Na5 Nxe3 23.Rxe3 Qc7 24.Rd3 Rfd8 25.Nxc6 Qxc6 26.Qd2 Ra8 27.Rd1 Ra3 28.h4 Nc8 29.Rd5 Rxc3 30.Be2 Rc2 31.Bxb5 Rxd2 32.Bxc6 Rxd1+ 33.Rxd1 Ne7 34.Ba4 Rb8 35.b5 Nc8 36.Rc1 Nb6 37.Bd1 Rc8 38.Ra1 Ra8 39.Ra6 Rxa6 40.bxa6 Nc8 41.Bb3 Kf8 42.Kf1 Ke7 43.Ke2 f6 44.Kf3 Kd7 45.Kg4 Ke7 46.Kf5 Na7 47.Kg6 Kf8 48.h5 Nc8 49.g4 Ne7+ 50.Kh7 Nc8 51.Be6 Na7 52.Bc4 Nc8 53.Bd5 Na7 54.Kg6 Nc8 55.Bb7 Na7 56.Kf5 Ke7 57.f4 exf4 58.Kxf4 Ke6 59.Bd5+ Kd7 60.Kf5 Ke7 61.Kf4 Kd7 62.Bb3 Nc8 63.Ba4+ Ke6 64.Ke3 Ke5 65.Bb3 Na7 66.Bd5 Nb5 67.Kd3 Kf4 68.Kc4 Nc7 69.a7 Kxg4 70.Kb4 f5 71.exf5 Nxd5+ 72.Ka5 Ne7 73.f6 gxf6 74.a8=Q Nf5 75.Qd5 Ng3 76.Qe6+ 1-0