DANIEL Quizon kept his share of the lead in the premier Under-20 division even as Ruelle Canino and Mary Janelle Tan stayed in title contention in their respective classes after five rounds of the 21st ASEAN+ Age Group Chess Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.
Mr. Quizon, a 19-year-old Filipino International Master (IM) and World Cupper, drew with childhood buddy IM Michael Concio, Jr. to remain at the helm with Thai FIDE Master Prin Laohawirapap, who likewise wound up with a split with Malaysian Tan Jun Yung.
For Mr. Concio, who was slowed down by draws, he slipped to No. 4 with three points but could still catch up with the leaders with still four rounds left in the nine-round tournament.
Mr. Canino sacrificed a knight to gain a lasting advantage that he converted into a masterful win over Vietnam’s Nguyen Binh Vy to move up to No. 2 with four points, a point behind No. 1 Nguyen Ha Khanh Linh of Vietnam in the girls’ U16.
Ms. Tan, for her part, tried to go for the win and the solo lead but eventually settled for a standoff with Vietnamese Pham Thi Minh Ngoc and remained at No. 2 with four points, half a point off the pace.
The Filipinos were being bankrolled by the Philippine Sports Commission and backed by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines and Philippine Olympic Committee. — Joey Villar