Filipino International Master Paulo Bersamina trounced compatriot John Merill Jacutina to join Grandmaster John Paul Gomez and IM Ricky de Guzman inside the top 20 after the eighth round of the 17th Asian Continental Chess Championships late Monday.
The win sent the 20-year-old Bersamina into a 14-chesser logjam at 17th place with 4.5 points while breathing some life to his hope of finishing inside the top 10.
Bersamina is tackling Iran’s Grandmaster Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, in the final round as of press time.
The 58-year-old de Guzman was part of the group with Pascua and Gomez after splitting the point with China’s IM Xu Yi.
Gomez is still battling former women’s world champion GM Tan Zhongyi of China while De Guzman is clashing with GM Abhimanyu Puranik of India.
In the women’s division, WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda shocked 2018 Vietnam Individual Championship titlist WGM Hoang Thi Bao Tram to move on the verge of a top 10 finish.
Fronda caught up with WGM Janelle Mae Frayna, the country’s highest ranked woman chesser, in that 10-player pack with 4.5 points at No. 11 and could land a place inside the top 10 with a triumph in the last round.
Fronda is still clashing with China’s IM Guo Qi while Frayna is playing WGM Nguyen Thi Thanh An of Vietnam at press time.
India’s IM Ruot Padmini drew with Vietnam’s IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen to cling on the lead with 6.5 points, or half a point atop closest pursuer WGM Gong Qianyun of Singapore, who defeated China’s WGM Wang Jue.