by Marlon Bernardino
13-times Philippine Open champion Grandmaster Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr. downed National Master Rolando Andador in 32 moves of a Pirc defense, Austrian attack variation to gain a share of the lead in the third round of the 2018 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 Monday.
The victory was Antonio's second wins as he joined Fide Master Joseph Logizesthai Turqueza, Jeth Romy Morado and International Master Jan Emmanuel Garcia at the helm with 2.5 points each.
Turqueza, a mainstay of San Beda University chess team crushed International Master Paulo Bersamina after 37 moves of Slav defense while Morado, playing under the banner of Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales Far Eastern University chess team halved the point with Grandmaster John Paul Gomez after 40 moves of Sicilian defense.
Garcia, on the other hand, split the point with International Master IM Richelieu Salcedo III after 59 moves of Double Fianchetto Opening.
Defending champion International Master Haridas Pascua edged Singapore based Fide Master Roberto Suelo Jr. after 48 moves of King's Indian defense and jacked up his total to 2.0 points for solo fifth place.
International Master Chito Garma settled for a truce with Jonathan Maca Jota after 61 moves of Larsen Opening.
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.
In the distaff side, Woman Fide Master Allaney Jia Doroy trounced Woman Fide Master Michelle Yaon after 43 moves of Catalan Opening to share the lead with 1.5 points after Round 2, the same output of Woman Fide Master Cherry Ann Mejia, Woman Fide Master Shania Mae Mendoza and Woman International Master Marie Antoinette San Diego.
Mejia drew with Mendoza after 58 moves of Reti Opening while San Diego outclassed former Asian Junior champion Woman International Master Mikee Charlene Suede after 51 moves of Modern defense.
In other matches saw, Jerlyn Mae San Diego upset last year winner Woman International Master Bernadette Galas after 46 moves of Sicilian defense while Woman International Master Catherine Perena Secopito settled for a draw with Woman National Master Christy Lamiel Bernales after 49 moves of Scandinavian defense.
Tournament director is NCFP executive director Red Dumuk assisted by NCFP treasurer Atty. Cliburn Anthony Orbe, International Arbiter Gene Poliarco, Fide National Arbiters Noel Morales and Roy Madayag.(Marlon Bernardino)
Standings After Round 3 (Men's division, Single Round Robin Format, 12 player's field)
2.5 points---FM Mari Joseph Logizesthai Turqueza, Jeth Romy Morado, IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia, GM Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr.
2.0 points---IM Haridas Pascua
1.5 points---GM John Paul Gomez, IM Richelieu Salcedo III
1.0 point---IM Paulo Bersamina
0.5 point---NM Rolando Andador, FM Roberto Suelo Jr.,Jonathan Maca Jota, IM Chito Garma
Standings After Round 2 (Women's division, Single Round Robin Format, 10 player's field)
1.5 points---WFM Cherry Ann Mejia, WFM Allaney Jia Doroy, WFM Shania Mae Mendoza, WIM Marie Antoinette San Diego
1.0 point---WIM Catherine Perena-Secopito, Jerlyn Mae San Diego, WFM Michelle Yaon
0.5 point---WIM Bernadette Galas, WNM Christy Lamiel Bernales
0.0---WIM Mikee Charlene Suede