THREE-TIME Olympiad veteran IM Ricky de Guzman outwitted Adelard Bai of Taipei in the second round to barge into the win column in the 17th Asian Continental Chess Championships-2nd Manny Pacquiao Cup at the Tiara Oriental Hotel in Makati.
De Guzman, who represented the country in the Olympiad in 1978 Buenos Aires, 1984 Thessaloniki and 1992 Manila, beat his lower-rated opponent despite playing black and bounce back from his first-round setback to No. 14 FM Rinat Jumabayev of Kazakhstan.
A former 1971 Asian Junior champion playing in his first big local event, De Guzman will next meet No. 31 IM Shamshiddin Vokhidov of Uzbekistan in the third round.
IMs Jan Emmanuel Garcia subdued FM Stephen Rome and Oliver Dimakiling downed IM Angelo Young in a pair of all-Filipino matches to bounce back into contention in this prestigious, nine-round competition sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
Garcia, who made his Olympiad debut in Batumi, Georgia a few months back, and Dimakiling have one point to join De Guzman in a heavy 23-player group at 22nd place that included opening- day heroes IM Paulo Bersamina and Haridas Pascua.
Bersamina, who provided the biggest upset win following a shock win over No. 3 FM Le Quang Liem of Vietnam last Monday, failed to earn a fitting follow-up and lost to No. 17 GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan.
Pascua, on other other hand, came through with his second straight draw against IM Novendra Priasmoro of Indonesia
The draw against the higher-rated Indonesian came after Pascua missed an upset win and settled for a draw with No. 4 GM Santosh Gujrath Vidit of India.
Also hurdling their second-round matches for their first point were untitled Michael Concio, Jr., who upset John Marvin Miciano; and IM Roderick Nava , who clobbered Randolph Schain of Cambodia.
The all-Filipino matches pitting GM Darwin Laylo against FM Mari Joseph Turqueza and FM Rogelio Antonio, Jr. against CM John Merill Jacutina ended in draws.
In the women’s division, WFM Shania Mae Mendoza halved the point with WFM Aay Aisyah Anisa of Indonesia for her second straight draw.
So far, Mendoza is tied with WFM Allaney Jia Doroy, WIM Bernadette Galas and WIM Kylen Joy Mordido as the best-placed locals with one point.
WGM Janelle Mae Frayna, fell to WIM P V Nandhidhaa of India.