SINGAPORE – Woman International Master Bernadette Galas of De La Salle University outplayed fellow WIM and top seed Janelle Mae Frayna of FEU in a battle between the country's top female players in the fourth round of the 16th ASEAN+ Age Group Chess Championships at the Nanyang Technological University here.
With two passed pawns and a queen against Frayna's rook and bishop, Galas had the FEU board 1 player on the defensive en route to winning her fourth straight game and retaining the top spot in the girls' Under-20 category, half a point ahead of Sagar Tejaswini of India.
Frayna dropped into a tie with a big group of 2.5 pointers, behind another Pinay bet, Woman Fide Master Cherry Ann Mejia, who posted her third straignt win after an opening-day draw for 3.5 points, good for solo third.
Galas' winning streak is matched by Alekhine Nouri, the country's youngest-ever Fide Master, in the boys' U-10 and Alaney Jia Doroy in the girls' U-14.
Nouri beat India's Lohia Siddanth yesterday, a day after downing another Indian in Mahindru Ruhaan in the third round late Tuesday, while Doroy downed Tran Thi Hong Phan of Vietnam, her fourth Vietnamese victim in as many rounds
In the boys' U-20, IM Paulo Bersamino bounced back with a win afer two draws and a loss for two points, but remained 1.5 points behind the leaders
Fellow IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia, despite losing his fourth round game against Bui Trong Hao of Vietnam remained the highest placed Filipino with 2.5 points.
Other fourth-round gainers in the 9-round tournament were WFM Shania Mae Mendoza, who scored her third point yesterday to improve into a tie for second place in the girls' U-18, Rhezie Kyle Sevillano who bounced back with a victory in the boys' U-16, and Istraelito Rilloraza, who climbed into a seven-way tie for third with 3 points, half a point behind the leaders.
"So far so good. I think we'll do better in the next few rounds. Babawi ang mga bat," said National Chess Federation of the Philippines GM Jayson Gonzales in assessing the performance of the Philippine chess team whose stint here was made possible through the support of the Philippine Sports Commision, the Philippine Olympic Commitee and NCFP chairman and president Prospero Pichay and NCFP Vice President for Visayas Cong. Neri Colmenares.