FIDE Master Haridas Pascua inched closer to the title in the men’s junior division of the the 2012 National Age Group and National Juniors Chess Championships at the Event Center in Tanauan, Batangas.
The pride of Pangasinan downed Jose Carlo Castro of Quezon City to move within a victory of clinching the biggest title of his young career.
He has two chances to do that – first against Chester Jason Coquilla of Cagayan de Oco and second against Alcon John Datu of Manila.
Defending champion Mari Joseph Turqueza of Quezon City, FIDE Master Paulo Bersamina of Pasay and Joel Pimentel, Jr. of Bacolod still have mathematical chances of catching Pascua, but their fates are no longer in their hands.
Pascua collected 25 points on eight wins, one draw and one loss in 10 games. Turqueza is only a point behind on seven wins, three draws and one loss, but he has played one more game and would have a bye in the penultimate round.
The tournament employs a point system where a win is worth three points and a draw is equivalent to one point. Meaning, a win and loss will earn more points than a couple of draws.
In the women’s junior, Woman National Master Jedara Docena of Bohol needs only to draw her final assignment to win the title. Docena, who has seven wins and one draw in eight games, is set to face Deanne Aubrey Surposa of General Santos.
Last year’s champion WNM Janelle Mae Frayna of Legaspi is the only one with a mathematical chance of catching Docena’s 22 points. She has 19 points on six wins, one draw and one defeat.
The national junior champions will represent the country in the 2012 World Junior Chess Championships in Athens, Greece.
Bernadette Galas of Makati was the first to wrap up the title in the age group competition with an unreachable 28 points on nine wins and one draw in the girls under-16. Her closest pursuer Mira Milano of Aklan only has 20 points on six wins, two draws and two losses.
The other leaders were Lennon Hart Salgados of CDO in the boys under-20; Romy Fagon of Pangasinan in BU-16; Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano of Cebu in BU-14; Daniel John Lemi of Vigan in BU-12; Stephen Rome Pangilinan of Manila in BU-10; Justin Mordido of Las Pinas in BU-8; Woman FIDE Master Marie Antoinette San Diego in GU-20; Samantha Glo Revita of Pangasinan in GU-14; Vic Glysen Derotas of Cebu in GU-12; Regyne Palaming of Pangasinan in GU-10; and Methusellah Ramos of Cebu in GU-8.
The category winners in age group competition will compete in the 2012 Asian Youth Championships in Sri Lanka.