By U.S. News Agency / Asian

Filipino International Master (IM) Oliver Dimakiling beat Fide Master (FM) Julius Joseph de Ramos in the eighth round to grab the solo lead in the ongoing Penang International Open Chess Championships in Malaysia over the weekend.

Dimakiling, the pride of Davao City playing under the banner of National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) President/Chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr., prevailed with the advantageous white pieces against De Ramos of Manila to raised his total 7 points in eight outings in this week-long event which attracted 71 players from eight nations composed of the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, Uzbekistan and Thailand.

IM Oliver Barbosa of Taytay, Rizal and IM Yves Ranola of Caloocan drew their matches to share second to third placers with 6.5 points apiece.

Grandmaster (GM) Niaz Murshed of Bangladesh, IM Luis Chiong of Antique and National Master (NM) Ian Cris Udani of Bacolod City toppled their respective rivals to notch 6 points each and climbed at 4th to 6th placers.

Murshed blasted Edward Lee of Malaysia, Chiong routed Benjamin Foo of Singapore and Udani nipped Yeap Eng Chiam of Malaysia.

Former Philippine artist champion FM Christopher Castellano of Cainta, Rizal, who is seeking his IM title here, suffered his second straight loss against Malaysia’s top player IM Mas Hafizulhelmi to stuck at 5 points.

IM Mas, meantime, led the huge group of 5.5 pointers that include countryman Tan Khai Boom and Ng Tse Han of Malaysia, FM Haridas Pascua of Mangatarem, Pangasinan, NM Edgar Reggie Olay of Davao City and Andre Jerome of Singapore.