Today saw a top board encounter in the Asian Zone 3.3 Open Championship between defending champion Susanto Megaranto (3.5) and top seed and tournament leader Wesley So (4.5) while second placed Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (4) faced yet another Filipino, this time, Mark Paragua (3.5).
While So struggled to hold the draw with black against a determined defending champion in Megaranto, Nguyen was irresistible with white against Paragua and so So and Nguyen are again joint leaders with five points each.
On third board Gombosuren Munkhgal (3.5) played the third seeded veteran Rogelio Antonio (3.5) while on fourth board was the match-up between Nguyen Doc Hua (3.5) and Darwin Laylo (3.5).
Antonio won a nice endgame to reach four and a half points and be alone in third place while Megaranto, Laylo and Duc Hua who drew have four points and share fourth to eighth places with Bayarsaikan Gundavaa and Cao Sang.
In the Woman Championship, Nguyen Thi Tranh An (4.5) faced arguably the last of her most serious challenges in Medina Ward Aulia (3.5) but held the draw to retain her lead with five points from six games.
Watching closely, on second board the top seeded Batkutyag Munguntuul (3.5) played Nguyen Thi Mai Hung (3) while on third board second seeded Pham Le Thao Nguyen (3) was up against the unfancied Bernadette Gallas (3) who has so far been the best of the locals.
Munguntuul could not get past an opponent who opted for passive defence and shares second to fourth places on four points with Medina and Gallas who got her biggest scalp yet by beating Pham surprisingly easily.
There was much less of a fight on fourth board with the sisters Hoang Thi Nyu Y (2.5) and Hoang Thi Bao Tram (3) meeting and they quickly drew, and it was much the same on fifth board, when good friends and team mates Dewi AA Citra (2) and Chelsie Shite Monica (2.5) played out a draw.
Report by Peter Long