HO CHI
MINH CITY, Vietnam, Jan. 6 (PNA) -– Dresden Olympiad sensation GM John
Paul Gomez trounced IM Wang Li of China to lead three other Filipino
players with perfect scores after the second round of the 2011 HD Bank
Cup Open chess championship at the five-star Rex Hotel here Wednesday.

Gomez,
who nailed his GM title during the 38th World Chess Olympia din
Dresden, Germany in 2008, played almost flawlessly with the white pieces
to subdue the 27th-seeded Wang and clinch his second straight victory
in this prestigious, six-day tournament which attracted 74 players from
nine countries.

Sharing
the limelight were GM Drawin Laylo, IM Richard Bitoon and IM Oliver
Dimakiling, who also hurdled their second-round assignments and matched
Gomez’s 2-0 start.

Laylo, seeded only ninth here with an ELO of 2516, whipped compatriot FM Haridas Pascua despite handling the black pieces.

Bitoon crushed IM Khoa Bao of Vietnam, while Dimakiling dumped WFM Ton Nu Hong An of Vietnam.

The
four Filipino players are tied for the early lead with top seed GM Le
Quang Liem of Vietnam, GMs Zhao Weiqi and Zhao Jun of China, WIM Nguyen
Thi Mai Hung of Vietnam, FN Nguyen Duc Hoa of Vietnam, and IM Nguyen
Thanh Son of Vietnam.

Le,
the highest-rated player here with an ELO of 2664, outclassed IM Lou
Yiping of China to lead the bid of the 30-player strong Vietnamese side.

Zhao Weiqi downed IM Kim Steven Yap of the Philippines, while Zhao Jun overwhelmed countryman Liu Shanglei.

GM Roland Salvador and IM Oliver Barbosa, however, settled for draws against their lower-rated opponents.

Salvador,
who became the country’s newest GM after achieving the titl ein Italy
late last year, split the point with FM Pham Chuong of Vietnam.

Barbosa, on the other hand, halved the point with IM Thu Hoang Thai of Vietnam.

Another Filipino player, Rodolfo Panopio, bounced back from an opening-day loss to beat IM Daniel Howard Fernandez of Singapore.

Not
as lucky were Emmanuel Senador, who bowed to Tan Weiliang of Singapore;
and Merben Roque, who succumbed to GM Nhuyen Ngoc Truong Son of
Vietnam.

“It’s
still too early to tell, but I just hope our players will continue to
play well and make the country proud,” said newly-elected Southeast
Asian zone president and National Chess Federation of the Philippines
(NCFP) secretary-general Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.

At stake in the tournament sponsored by HD Bank are
US$ 25,000, with the champion pocketing the lion’s share of US$ 6,000. (PNA)

DCT/LOR/PR