A slew of stalemates yesterday in the seventh round of the 2012 HD Bank International Open Chess Tournament means no player has been able to seize the upper hand and the title race is still wide open.
In the day's most anticipated game, top seed GM Liem, despite opening the game with white, had to settle for a draw with China's Ni Hua after 43 moves.
Liem, with five points, maintains his second place behind Hua, who leading the competition with 5.5 points.
In other important matches yesterday, second seed GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son drew with Nguyen Duc Hoa, GM Cao Sang drew with Nguyen Van Huy and China's Gao Rui drew with Filipino GM Gomez John Paul.
As things stand, besides Ni Hua and Liem, nine other players with 4.5 points each are still within reach of the first prize.
Liem, who defeated China's Xiu Deshun in the fifth game on Sunday, will face Gomez Paul, who has 4.5 points, in his eighth round match today, while Ni Hua will face Viet Nam's Duong The Anh, who also has 4.5 points.
Son, with only four points and little chance to win the trophy, will face Tran Quoc Dung.
WGM Pham Le Thao Nguyen, the leader among female players with four points, will face Nguyen Van Hai. The tournament ends tomorrow. — VNS