GM Negi Parimarjan of India crushed the French Defense of Chinese GM Ding Liren in only 30 moves to keep his lead in the Asian Continental Championship in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Negi sacrified a pawn on the 18th move to open lines against Ding’s King in the center since he had not castled. Negi controlled the half open file and was about to win a Bishop when Ding resigned.
In photo above, three Chinese play Black against Asia. On top board, (W vs. B) Negi vs. Ding in foreground, Paragua vs. Yu in middles and Barbosa vs. Lu in background.
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Negi leads alone with 6 points. Three players follow with 5 and a half points each namely GMs Yu Yangyi of China, Oliver Barbosa of the Philippines and Salem Saleh of the United Arab Emirates.
GM Yu Yangyi of China used the Sicilian Defense to beat GM Mark Paragua of the Philippines in 41 moves. Paragwa could not stop the mate by Yu’s two Rooks.
GM Oliver Barbosa of the Philippines smashed the Dutch Defense of GM Lu Shanglei of China in 52 moves. Lu made an unsound attack and Barbosa defended well. He had four pieces against Lu’s lone Queen and threatened mate to force resignation.
Filipino GM Gomez misplayed the opening against the Gruenfeld defense of GM Salem of the United Arab Emirates. Gomez was about to lose a Rook when he resigned on the 19th move.
In the Women’s section, WGM Irene Sukandar of Indonesia drew with Ding Yixin of China in 30 moves of a Sicilian Defense. They exchanged pieces and reached a drawn minor piece endgame.
Sukandar leads alone with 6 points followed by Mary Ann Gomes with 5.5. Four players trail with 5 points each namely Eesha Karavade of India, and Chinese Tan Zhongyi, Wang Jue and Ding Yixin.
WGM Mary Ann Gomez of India upset top seed GM Zhao Xue of China in 70 moves. Zhao had a bad pawn structure in the endgame and could not stop the pawn advance of her opponent.
WGM Tan Zhongyi of China crushed the Gruenfeld Defense of WGM Nguyen Thi Thanh An of Vietnam in 55 moves as Tan was about to promote her pawn. The last game to finish in the round was by Eesha Karavade of India who beat IM Munguntuul Batkhuyag of Mongolia.
Arbiters at the Championship: Seated, l to r: Le Minh Tho, Tran Tho Thung My, Pham Huong Giang, Casto Abundo, Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh, Nguyen Thi Anh Thu, Le Thi Thanh Thuy. Standing, l to r: Tran Duc Hoa Khanh, Phung le Quang, Tran Xuan Tu, Hoang Thien, Nguyen Van Thinh, Truong Duc Chien and Herman Kurniadi.