MANILA, Philippines – Vietnam took a step towards regaining the overall championship from the Philippines at the 19th Asean Age Group Chess Championship in Davao as it tightened its hold on 8 of 14 divisions after the 7th round on Friday night, June 22.
Although the Philippines ruled the boys and girls Under-20, the boys Under-8 and girls under-10, the Vietnamese leaned on their superiority in the girls division in the last two rounds.
The Vietnamese girls led in the Under-18, Under-16, Under-14, Under 12 and Under-10.
Vietnam failed to field a delegation when the Philippines won the overall championship for the first time last year in Macau.
With 6 points, Paulo Bersamina led the Under-20 by half-a-point as John Marvin Miciano held the pursuing Indonesian Setyaki Azraya Jodi.
In the girls under-20, national women’s champion Shania Mae Mendoza had 6 points and took a one-point lead over fellow Filipina Grace Moulic.
FEU players kept their hold on the boys Under-18 behind Dale Bernardo, who had 6.5 points, while Alekhine Nouri and Vietnamese Pham Phu Vinh were tied for the Under-16 lead with 5.5 points.
Al-Basher Buto drew with Arav Nambiar T of India in the 7th round but he still led with a commanding 6.5 points, a point ahead of two chasing Vietnamese.
Ruelle Canino of Cagayan de Oro also towed the Under-10 field with 6.5 points where Mecel Angela Gadut of Ilocos Sur and Daren dela Cruz were running second and third.
The Philippines could turn things around in the girls’ Under-16 where national junior champion Francois Marie Magpily will face the leading Bach Ngoc Thuy Duong, while Jerlyn San Diego will tangle with the pacesetting Vuong Quynh Anh.
After the standard tournament, the rapid and blitz events will be held and the overall title will be awarded.