Grandmaster Jayson O. Gonzales and International Master Chito Garma trounced respective rivals to remain on top after four rounds of play in the 2016 National Chess Championships Grand Finals – Battle of the Grandmasters held at the PSC National Athletes' Dining Hall inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, Pablo Ocampo Sr. St., Malate, Manila.
GM Gonzales defeated fellow grandmaster Rogelio Barcenilla in 60 moves of an English Opening while IM Garma stopped National Master Emmanuel Emperado in 38 moves of a Sokolsky Opening. They shared the lead with 6 points and closely followed by Grandmaster Eugene Torre who dealt National Master Hamed Nouri his first loss. Nouri resigned after a triple fork that resulted in a quality exchange loss on the 41st move of a Dutch Defense.
In the women's division, Woman International Master Bernadette Galas, WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda and Woman National Master Christy Lamiel Bernales defeated their respective opponents to share a triple tie for the lead with 6 points. WIM Galas beat Lucelle Bermundo in 41 moves of an irregular game with her unusual reply to Bermundo's 1.d4 while WIM Fronda prevailed over fellow WIM Beverly Mendoza after 73 moves of a Caro Kann. A big win was registered by WNM Bernales when she upset WIM and top seed Janelle Mae Frayna in 42 moves of a Nimzo-Indian Defense when she gained an overwhelming material advantage.
Other fourth round results:
IM Paulo Bersamina vs. GM Rogelio Antonio, draw in a Caro Kann, 39 moves
GM John Paul Gomez vs. GM Darwin Laylo, draw in a Slav Defense in 30 moves.
FM Narquingden Reyes vs. NM Michael Gotel draw in 147 moves of a London System.
IM Haridas Pascua vs. John Marvin Miciano draw in 34 moves, King's Indian Defense.
IM Catherine Pereña-Secopito won over WFM Shania Mae Mendoza in 61 moves of a Queen's Pawn Game.
WIM Mikee Charlene Suede defeated Judith Pineda in 53 moves of a Benko Gambit.
WFM Marie Antoinette San Diego draw with Samantha Glo Revita in 36 moves, KID and
Allaney Jia Doroy draw with Arvie Lozano in 59 moves of an English Opening.
The tournament is being organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and supported financially by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) in cooperation with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).