INTERNATIONAL MASTER Jan Emmanuel Garcia and Jeth Romy Morado posted contrasting results in the second round to share the lead with two points each in the National Chess Championship dubbed as Trip To Batumi Grand Finals being held at the Second Floor, Activity Hall, Alphaland Makati Place in Malugay Street, Makati City late Sunday.
Garcia, part of the coaching staff of Ateneo de Manila University Chess Team defeated Jonathan Maca Jota after 65 moves of English Opening while Morado, a member of the star-studded GM Jayson Gonzales Far Eastern University Chess Team upset International Master Chito Garma after 76 moves of Ruy Lopez Opening.
13-times Philippine Open Champion Grandmaster Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr. is in a two-way tie for third with 1.5 points along with Fide Master Mari Joseph Logizesthai Turqueza.
Antonio split the point with Grandmaster John Paul Gomez in their Nimzo-Indian skirmish while Turqueza crushed National Master Rolando Andador after 42 moves of Sicilian defense, Alapin variation.
Gomez, top player of Albay Province governor Al Francis C. Bichara led the huge group of 1.0 point that includes International Master Paulo Bersamina, International Master Richelieu Salcedo III and defending champion International Master Haridas Pascua.
Bersamina halved the point with Pascua after 41 moves of Caro-kann defense, Salcedo split the point with Singapore based Fide Master Roberto Suelo Jr. after 66 moves of Sicilian defense, Alapin variation.
In the third round late Monday,Salcedo faces Garcia, Pascua meets Suelo, Turqueza battles Bersamina, Antonio fights Andador, Morado tackles Gomez and Jota will collide with Garma.
The week-long event supported by National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) Chairman/President Rep. Prospero "Butch" Arreza Pichay Jr. , the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Alphaland Mall is a qualification tournament to determine the member of the Philippine Team bound for 2018 Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia on September 23 to October 7, 2018.
Women Fide Master Cherry Ann Mejia dismantled Jerlyn Mae San Diego in the opening round to lead the women’s side that includes Woman Fide Master Michelle Yaon and Woman Fide Master Shania Mae Mendoza.
Yaon toppled former Asian Junior champion Woman International Master Mikee Charlene Suede while Mendoza routed Woman National Master Christy Lamiel Bernales after 32 moves of French defense.
Woman International Master Catherine Perena-Secopito drew with Woman International Master Marie Antoinette San Diego after 59 moves of Queen's Pawn Game while last year winner Woman International Master Bernadette Galas settled a truce with Woman Fide Master Allaney Jia Doroy after 35 moves of Petroff defense.
No less than National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) Chairman/President Rep. Prospero "Butch" Arreza Pichay Jr. , NCFP executive director Red Dumuk, NCFP treasurer Atty. Cliburn Anthony Orbe, International Arbiter Gene Poliarco and Fide National Arbiter Noel Morales led the opening rites.
Standings After Round 2 (Men's division, Single Round Robin Format, 12 player's field)
2.0 points---IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia, Jeth Romy Morado
1.5 points---FM Mari Joseph Logizesthai Turqueza, GM Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr.
1.0 point---GM John Paul Gomez, IM Paulo Bersamina, IM Richelieu Salcedo III, IM Haridas Pascua
0.5 point---FM Roberto Suelo Jr., NM Rolando Andador
0.0---Jonathan Maca Jota, IM Chito Garma
Standings After Round 1 (Women's division, Single Round Robin Format, 10 player's field)
1.0 point---WFM Michelle Yaon, WFM Cherry Ann Mejia, WFM Shania Mae Mendoza
0.5 point---WIM Bernadette Galas, WIM Catherine Perena-Secopito, WIM Marie Antoinette San Diego, WFM Allaney Jia Doroy
0.0 point---Jerlyn Mae San Diego, WIM Mikee Charlene Suede, WNM Christy Lamiel Bernales