Unheralded Michael Gotel brought down International Master Azarya Jodi Setyaki of Indonesia to seize a share of the lead after two rounds in the Asian Zone 3.3 Zonal Open Chess Championship held online Sunday, May 2.
The 47-year-old Gotel fended off Setyaki, 22, after 56 moves of a French Defense to forge a six-way logjam at the helm that also included teammates IMs Daniel Quizon and Michael Concio Jr. with two points.
Also in that pack were fourth seed Yoseph Theolifus Taher, IM Ervan Mohamad Ervan and Andyka Pitra, all from Indonesia.
Breathing down the leaders’ necks with 1.5 points each were 12 others including Grandmaster Darwin Laylo, who trounced another teammate Kimuel Aaron Lorenzo.
IM John Marvin Miciano was also in that group along with Merben Roque, Ellan Asuela, Jeremy Marticio, who all have a legitimate chance of claiming one of the two slots staked to the World Cup 2021 set in July in Sochi, Russia.
The World Cup is part of the World Championship cycle.