Mhage Gerriahlou Sebastian edged Jarel Renz Lacambra to lead the way in the girls’ section of the Philippine National Juniors Chess Championships at the PACE center in North Ave., Quezon City over the weekend.
Sebastian, 15, remained perfect with five points after waylaying Precious Eve Ferrer, Ma. Elayza Villa, Divine Grace Luna and Lexie Grace Hernandez one after the other.
The Far Eastern University standout will have her hands full though against closest pursuer Ruelle Canino, a 13-year-old phenom from Cagayan de Oro, when they face each other in the sixth round.
The prodigious Canino smashed Grace Hernandez to improve to four points, a point off the pace in this event supported by Philippine Sports Commission chair William Ramirez, NCFP president Butch Pichay, Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino and Chess Movement, Inc. chair Dr. Ariel Potot.
In the premier open division, FIDE Master Alekhine Nouri and Adrian Othniel Yulo trounced Khent Darylle Delig and Christian Marcelo Olaybal, respectively, to seize joint leadership four points each.
Interestingly, Nouri, 15, owns the better tiebreak after he beat Yulo the round before.
Half a point behind with 3.5 points was Ronald Canino, who halved the point with Jarvey Labanda.
The winners in this meet backed by will be the country’s representatives to the Asian and World Championships, according to NCFP chief executive officer Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales.