Woman International Master Jan Jodilyn Fronda prevailed over Arvie Lozano in round 5 to continue to lead the women’s division of the Battle of the Grandmasters held at the PSC National Athletes’ Dining Hall, RMSC, P. Ocampo St., Manila. Fronda, who was champion in the National and ASEAN Age Group tournaments last year, defeated Lozano in 52 moves of a Closed Sicilian to tally 8 points in five games. A point behind is woman FIDE Master Marie Antoinette San Diego who stopped Judith Pineda in 40 moves of a Modern Defense. Tied for third to seventh places is a big group with 5 points that included the defending champion WIM Catherine Pereńa-Secopito, WIM Mikee Charlene Suede, WFM Shania Mae Mendoza, WNM Christy Lamiel Bernales and Lozano. Bernales and Lozano though, still have to play their postponed third round game today so they have the chance to improve their standing.
Pereńa-Secopito drew with Mendoza while Suede beat the Scandinavian Defense of WNM Jean Karen Enriquez in 47 moves. Bernales draw with Brena Mae Membrere of Ateneo whose idol is her Coach and mentor, National Master Michael Gotel.
In the open division, Grandmaster Joey Antonio continued to dominate the group by drawing his round 6 game against fellow Grandmaster Darwin Laylo in 31 moves of a Caro Kann and converting his fifth round game against soon to be the country’s first woman grandmaster, WIM Janelle Mae Frayna, the conqueror of Asia’s first GM, Eugene Torre.
Grandmaster Richard Bitoon halved the point with IM Mari Joseph Turqueza to place solo second while Turqueza is in 3rd-4th with IM Haridas Pascua who drew with fellow IM, Paulo Bersamina in 36 moves of a Nimzo-Indian.
5th-9th are GM Eugene Torre, GM Darwin Laylo, GM John Paul Gomez and National Masters Jerad Docena and Roel Abelgas. Torre drew with Gomez, Laylo Drew with Antonio, Abelgas, with a Bishop and a Knight against a lone King, defeated WIM Janelle Mae Frayna in 112 moves of a Gruenfeld Defense, Docena took the bye.
The tournament is being organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) headed by its President Prospero ‘Butch’ Pichay Jr. , Congressman Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino and Congressman Neri Javier Colmenares..It is supported financially by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) thru Chairman Ricardo R. Garcia in cooperation with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) thru President Jose ‘Peping Cojuangco.