WGM Irene Sukandar grabbed solo lead in the Asian Women's Continental as 5 Men shared the lead in the Asian Continental Open. Erstwhile co-leaders Yu Yangyi and Liu Qingnan drew their 4th round game to allow 3 others to climb to a share of the lead with 3.5 points after 4 rounds of the Asian Continental Championship in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnan. In the Women's division, Sukandar of Indonesia beat co-leader Tuvshintugs Batchimeg of Mongolila to lead alone with a perfect 4 point slate.
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Tied with Yu and Liu are GMs Ding Liren of China, Oliver Barbosa of Philippines and Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia.
Ding outplayed GM S. Sethuraman of India in an endgame of opposite colored Bishops that lasted 79 moves.
Megaranto (left foreground) played an inspired game against GM Zhao Jun of China, unleashing sacrificial attacks to threaten pawn promotion and force resignation in 38 moves.
Barbosa (above, left) outclassed FM Anjas Novita of Indonesia. The Filipino sacrificed a Bishop on the 14th move to open lines to the castled Black king. He brought all remaining pieces into play and weaved a mating net to force resignation on the 35th move.
Six players trail the lead pack. With 3 points each are IM Gao Rui of China and GMs John Paul Gomez of the Philippines, Le Quang Liem of Vietnam, Negi Parimarjan of India, Zhou Jianchao of China and Salem A. R. Saleh of the United Arab Emirates.
In the 5th round, the two Chinese Liu and Ding are paired, Barbosa plays Yu Yangyi while Megaranto faces GM Negi Parimarjan.
In the Women's division, Batchimeg tried to draw by perpetual check but Sukandar forced an exchange of Queens to transpose into a won endgame in 80 moves.
Nine women follow with 3 points each namely top seed Zhao Xue and compatriots Wang Jue and Dig Yixin of China, WGM Nguyen Thi Thanh An and Hoang Thi Bao Tram of Vietnam,
Batchimeg and IM Munguntuul Batkhuyag of Mongolila, and Tania Sachdev and Mohota Nisha of India.
Sukandar plays the top seed Zhao Xue in the 5th round.