MANILA---International Master (IM) elect Mari Joseph Turqueza of Quezon City pulled off a crucial victory over GM Richard Bitoon of Medellin, Cebu to tie World Cup bound GM Mark Paragua of Quezon City and IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia of Manila in the lead after 4 rounds of the on-going 2013 POC-PSC Philippine National Games Standard chess competition held at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Main Campus, Sta. Mesa, Manila.
The 3rd year BS Psychology student at San Sebastian College-Recoletos, defeated Bitoon in their Catalan Opening game and hacked out the victory after 36 moves, raising his totals to 4 points and boosting his bid for a first-ever National Open crown.
"I hope mahawakan ko po 'yung momentum," said the 2011 National Junior Champion Turqueza who is fresh from completing his International Master title requirment along with Roderick Nava and Roel Abelgas in the just ended $100,000 Manny Pacquiao Cup Asian Continental Chess Championship held at the Midas Hotel and Casino in Pasay City.
Paragua, meantime toppled IM Barlo Nadera of Malabon after 34 moves of French defense while Garcia, mainstay of Ateneo de Manila University, nipped IM Richelieu Salcedo III of Cagayan de Oro City after 23moves of English Opening.
Fide Master Haridas Pascua of Mangatarem, Pangasinan upset 12-time national open champion and rapid gold medal winner GM Rogelio "Joey"Antonio Jr. after 36 moves of Queens Pawn Game to grab third to fourth placers with 3.5 points, the same output of Eden Diano fo Cebu, winner over NM Giovanni Mejia of Labrador,Pangasinan after 37moves of Dutch defense.
In the women's play, Woman International Master Bernadette Galas of Makati City drew with Woman National Master Jedara Docena of Bohol to create a three-way tie for first place with Woman Fide Master Rulp Ylem Jose of Taguig who tote 3.5 points each. NCFP Executive Director GM Jayson Gonzales is the tournament director while International Arbiter Gene Poliarco is the chief arbiter.