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Megaranto ties Nolte on top

Grandmaster Susanto Megaranto whipped GM Nguyen Van Huy to join International Master Rolando Nolte on top after four rounds in the AQ Prime ASEAN Chess Championship at the Grand Eastern Hotel in Quezon City Monday.

The top-seed Indonesian, playing white, opened with a knight move and proceeded to fianchetto both bishops. He sacrificed a pawn in the middle game for active play and was rewarded when he managed to fork two rooks with a knight.

A rook up in the endgame, Megaranto secured the victory in 67 moves.

The Indonesian improved to 3 points, the same output as Nolte who settled for a quick 14-move draw with compatriot GM John Paul Gomez with white.

Four players were bunched with 2.5 points apiece — Gomez, GM Darwin Laylo, IM Paolo Bersamina, and Malaysian IM Yeoh Li Tian.

Laylo, playing black, essayed the Petroff to split the point with Yeoh after 61 moves.

Bersamina halved the point with Indonesian IM Yoseph Theolifus Taher in 36 moves.

In the only other game featuring a Filipino, IM Daniel Quizon drew with Vietnamese Dau Khuong Duy after 40 moves of a Sicilian.

The only other win was posted by Thai FIDE Master Laohawrapap Prin who disposed of IM Mohamad Ervin after 64 moves of another Sicilian battle.

The 11-round tournament ends on 18 February.
The standings after 4 rounds:
3.0 — Nolte, Megaranto
2.5 — Gomez, Laylo, Bersamina, Yeoh
1.5 — Laohawrapap, Ervan, Quizon, Nguyen, Taher
0.5 — Dau.

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