MANILA, Philippines – Two chess players from the Philippines, Grandmaster (GM) Mark Paragua and FIDE Master (FM) Anton Paolo del Mundo, tied for second place in the recently-concluded Eastern Open held at Westin Place in Washington D.C., United States.

Paragua defeated International Master (IM) Raymong Kauffman, while del Mundo won against GM Alexander Ivanov.

Both players earned US $833 each after also sharing second place with Jialin Ding.

Jing, meanwhile, accepted a draw with top winner GM Aleksandr Lenderman.

Del Mundo cuffed Ivanov, with the latter failing to outplay the Filipino even after 6 hours of play.

Ivanov lost due to time forfeit.

The grandmaster would have been a solo second-placer had he beaten Del Mundo, and instead lost out of the prize money with the forfeit.

Ivanov would have bagged US $1250 if he had won.

“I would have accepted a draw if he offered one,” said del Mundo, who sacrificed his knight to get the GM’s 3 extra pawns thus to avoid a loss and force a draw.

Del Mundo was left with 2 connected pawns on the fifth rank. Meanwhile, Ivanov had one left stranded on the seventh and in a corner, but was stopped by one of Del Mundo’s pawns.

With the knight sacrifice, Del Mundo had one bishop left and was persistent on winning while the GM Ivanov had 2 bishops. At the time scramble, the American sacrificed a bishop and instead, allowed Del Mundo to go for the win.

Meanwhile, GM Paragua had a piece up and 3 pawns advantage going into the end game as he carried through an easier win against IM Kaufmann.

Paragua was also the top winner in the blitz championship by scoring 8 1/2 points out of a possible 10 points. Another Filipino, William Marcelino, placed second with 7 1/2 points. – Report from Marlon Bernardino