International Master Paulo Bersamina and prodigy Daniel Quizon spearheaded the country’s campaign and pulled off opening-day victories to lead the way in the premier Open Under-20 division even as Shania Mae Mendoza carried the fight in the girls’ U20 in the 19th ASEAN+ Age Group Chess Championships at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City Tuesday night.
Bersamina, a former member of the Philippines’ Olympiad squad, downed Vietnam’s Nguyen Huynh Tuan, while Quizon, the youngest participant in this class at 14 years old, bested countryman Coellier Graspela to zoom to the early share of the lead.
Other Filipinos, who hurdled their first-round assignments were Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano, who trounced the PH’s Gino Asuncion, and Sarri Subahani, who stunned FIDE Maser Stephen Rome Pangilinan also of the Philippines, and IM John Marvin Miciano, who won via default against South Korea’s Kwon Sehyun.
Jeth Romy Morado, who made a good account of himself by in the Olympiad qualifier last week, couldn’t sustain his good solid showing and fell to Vietnam’s Pham Minh Hieu, while the PH’s Nelson Busa, Jr. lost to FM Agni Jeevitesh Sai of India.
Mendoza, who recently booked a slot to the World Chess Olympiad set this September in Batumi, Georgia, bared her title intention and dumped Vietnam’s Vo Thi Thuy Tien to lead a five-player lead pack that also included countrywoman Ella Grace Moulic, who zapped the PH’s Venien Rafales.
Vietnam’s WIM Nguyen Than Thuy Tien, Indonesia’s WFM Dita Karenza and Vietnam’s WFM Nguyen Thi Minh Oanh and WFM Vu Thi Dieu Ai also claimed a piece of the lead after hurdling their Filipina foes, Laila Camel Nadera, Marife dela Torre, Zsuzsa Grace Tabduong and Viona Nepascua, respectively.
Filipinas Kylen Joy Modido and Jearaine Chato drew their matches in this tournament organized by Chess Events International, sanctioned by the National Chess Federation under Butch Pichay and backed by Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte and the Philippine Sports Commission.
In the boys’ U18, Far Eastern University standout John Merill Jacutina turned back countryman Charles John Fiel to join a group at the helm that also included top seed IM Tran Minh Thang, who downed the PH’s Ernesto Canete.
Brothers Dale and Darry Bernardo, Aeron Keife Charles Sinining, Marc Bryan Villarojo and Israelito Rillaroza likewise turned back their respective opponents to jump into the lead group.