GENERAL SANTOS City—Michael Gastala of South Cotabato and Nepthali Batucan of Davao City scored convincing victories in the third round of the National age-group chess championship (Mindanao leg) here at Robinson’s Place over the weekend.
Gastala bested Benedict Marasigan of Davao and Nepthali beat younger brother John Ray Batucan to share the lead in the boys under-20 division of the event organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.
The Mindanao leg is through the initiative of Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares and sponsored by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel.
In other results, Alberto Diolola Jr. toppled Art Lawrence Puertas to post his third straight win in as many rounds to grab the solo lead in the boys under-16 while Eugene Jauhart Ambor routed Terrence Gem Tayco to dominate the boys under-14 with the same number of points.
The game between Jeremy Pepito and Chris Aldritz Pondoyo and Charles Faith Ayon and Yeongsa Aparte ended in draws, creating a four-way tie for first place in the boys under-12 division. Pepito, Pondoyo, Ayon and Aparte tallied 2.5 points each.
Jerome Kent Masong subdued Clyde Harris Saraos to remain unbeaten in the boys under-10 with 3.0 points while Jerish John Velarde ruled the boys under-12 division with 4.0 points.
Exiquila Apao nipped Crystal Mae Dumago to share the lead with Rose Irene Aldovino in the girls under-20 with 2.5 points apiece. Aldovino split the point with Kathleen Joy Meniano.
In the girls under-16, under 14 and under 12, Zsuzsa Grace Tabudlong, Honey Grace Buenafe, Allaney Jia Doroy are on top with 3.0 points each.
In the girls under-10, Meann Joy Baclayon and Mary Joy Tan shared top spot with 3.0 points apiece as well as Rhea Jane Canino and Joannah Love Marie Olay in the girls under-8.
The event is hosted by the city government of General Santos headed by Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio.
The top two placers in each category will advance to the grand finals to choose the Philippine representative to the Asean Age–group chess championships in Bangkok in June according to NCFP executive director GM Jayson Gonzales.