NATIONAL MASTER Jony Habla is showing the form that made him a star in collegiate chess in the ongoing 2013 Semi-Finals National Chess Championships at the Ponciano Bernardo Elementary School, P. Tuazon Blvd. Cubao, Quezon City.
The pride of Novaliches Novelty Chess Club, a former anchor of Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in SCUAA-NCR meet in the late 90's, downed International Master Emmanuel Senador to grab the solo lead after fifth rounds in the event backed up by Bayan Muna party list rep. Neri Javier Colmenares and DepEd ASEC Tonisito Umali and organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) headed by it's Chairman/President Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr. and Secretary-General Cavite 7th district rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino Jr.
Habla prevails after 55 pushes of London System Opening using the white pieces to raise his total 4.5 points.
Currently employee at DepEd, Habla earlier beat Ricky Echala and NM Gerry Cabellon, drew with FM Fernie Donguines and upset top seed IM Rolando Nolte, respectively.
Fide Master Paulo Bersamina and Narquingden Reyes climbed to second to seventh place with 4.0 points following their impressive wins.
Bersamina toppled Joseph Navarro after 44 moves of Caro-Kann defense while Reyes routed Efren Arguelles after 28 moves of Sicilian skirmish.
Also with 4.0 points are IM Richelieu Salcedo III, IM Joel Pimentel, FM Roderick Nava and NM Raymond Salcedo.
IM Richelieu split the point with NM Raymond after 31 moves of Pir Defense; Nava and Pimentel halved the point after 30 moves of Slav defense.
In the women's side, top seed Gladys Hazelle Romero stopped the winning run of former solo leader Jean Karen Enriquez after 57 moves of Sicilian defense using the black pieces to create a four-way tie for first place with 3.0 points each that includes Janena Marie Regencia and Krizza Lyn Abasolo after four outings.
Regencia bested Nikki Erica Yngayo after 43 moves of Alekhine defense while Abasolo subdued Arvie Lozano after 67 moves of Modern defense.
Also supporting the FIDE rated event are the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), DepEd NCR Regional Director Dr. Luz, S. Almeda, Ponciano Bernardo Elementary School principal Linaflor E. Cabildo, Asst. Chief P.E. School Sports Dr. Jocelyn V. Marcial, Director IV Dr. Luz S. Almeda and OIC office of the Asst. Regional Director Mr. Rizalino Jose T. Rosales.
Tournament Director is NCFP executive director GM Jayson Gonzales while Chief Arbiter is IA Gene Poliarco.