JOEL PIMENTEL stunned much-heralded compatriot FIDE Master Mari Joseph Turqueza to lead the Filipinos in the opening round of the 13 ASEAN+ Age-Group Chess Championships in Vietnam.
The pride of Bacolod, playing in the Open Under-20 division, got the win despite playing with the black pieces. Lennon Hart Salgados, playing in the same division, also posted an impressive win with black pieces opposite Fajar Fatikh Emas of Indonesia.
Janelle Mae Frayna sparked the country's bid in the distaff side by surprising Woman FIDE Master Turmunkh Munkhzul of Mongolia in the Girls Under-20.
Also winning their opening matches were Vince Angelo Medina over Sukaloon Daetdamlong of Laos in OU-16; FM Paulo Bersamina over Hoang Duc Nguyen of Vietnam in OU-14; Ronald Canino over Quoc Ky Nguyen of Vietnam in OU-10; Jethro Aquino over The Van Nguyen of Vietnam in OU-8; Bernadette Galas over WFM Hoang Minh Tho Do of Vietnam and Mira Mirano over another local bet Nguyen Thuy Dung Phan in GU-16; Shania Mae Mendoza over compatriot Ella Grace Moulic in GU-14; Alexis Anne Osena over Ngoc Doan Trang Nguyen of Vietnam in GU-12; and Methusellah Ramos over Vu Hanh Duyen Bui of Vietnam in GU-8.
The country's campaign in the tournament is supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).