The Philippines seeks to keep its grip of the lead as it clashes with the fancied Iran in the fourth round of the men’s division of the Asian Nations Online Chess Cup 2020 Friday.
The Filipinos, who have blitzed past Palestine, Syria and Thailand, have six match points along with Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Iran but the local bets have the highest tiebreak among the four to cling to the solo lead.
The Agila ng Pilipinas, however, will be tested against the Iranians who, at third seed, are one rung higher than the Filipinos.
Grandmaster Banjo Barcenilla and International Master Paulo Bersamina are expected to suit up after sweeping their first three matches on boards two and three along with GMs Mark Paragua and John Paul Gomez, who each have 2.5 points on top and fourth board.
Iran, meanwhile, has been drawing strength from GMs M. Amin Tabatabaei and Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, who have also won all their three outings on the lower boards.
In women’s action, the Lady Agilas tackle Kyrgyzstan with hopes of getting themselves back on the winning track.
The Filipinos blew their winning chances against the second-seeded Indonesians and fell to a 2.5-1.5 loss and into a nine-way logjam at fifth with four points.
WIM Bernadette Galas has been the most productive with three points on board four while WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda has 2.5 on board two.
WGM Janelle Mae Frayna and WFM Shania Mae Mendoza have two points apiece.