MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Grandmaster (GM) John Paul Gomez  brought down countryman and International Master (IM) Kim Steven Yap to forge a 5-way tie for the lead with 4 others in the third round of the 1st ASEAN Chess Championship in Singapore Sunday.

Gomez, a De La Salle University mechanical engineering graduate student, is tied with compatriot IM Oliver Barbosa, GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili of Georgia, GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia and GM Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam.

As one of the top Filipino bets in the tough 32-player field, Gomez outwitted Cebu’s Yap in a tense battle to gain a share of the limelight with Barbosa, Azmaiparashvili, Megaranto and Dao with perfect 3 points each.

To attain the tie, Barbosa drew with Dao, Azmaiparashvili crushed FIDE Master Anjas Novita of India, and Megaranto toppled Jarred Neubronner of Singapore. — Marlon Bernardino