Grandmaster John Paul Gomez remained at the helm of the Open Division after splitting the point with fellow pacesetter FIDE Master Urtnasan Nasanjargal of Mongolia in the fourth round of the Eastern Asian Zonal 3.3 Chess Championships in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Gomez and Nasanjargal tallied identical 3.5 points on three wins and one draw, half a point ahead of six closest pursuers from Mongolia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
International Master Paulo Bersamina also settled for a draw with Mongolian Badrakh Galmandakh while IM John Marvin Miciano prevailed over Indonesia’s Wahyudi Surya to share 2.5 points at ninth to 18th places.
Gomez faces another tough opponent in Indonesian Susanto Megaranto in the fifth round, who is at joint third with 3 points following a fourth-round draw with GM Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa of Mongolia.
Bersamina clashes with FM Ganzorig Amartuvshin of Mongolia while Miciano collides with Vietnamese GM Tran Tuan Minh.
In the women’s division, Woman FIDE Master Shania Mae Mendoza finally posted her first victory at the expense of Mongolia’s Namjilav Enkhnasan for 2 points on one win, one loss and two draws.
She next meets hometown bet Davaakhuu Munkhzul.
Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna, meanwhile, halved a point with Mongolian Sengeravdan Otgonjargal for her fourth straight draw to share identical 2 points with Mendoza, 2 points behind solo leader FM Ochirkhuyag Ulziikhishigjargal.
The tournament stakes two slots to the World Cup in Russia on Sept. 9 to Oct. 2. (Kristel Satumbaga)