MANILA, Philippines – Far Eastern University (FEU) remains on top of the leaderboard in both the men's and women's divisions in the UAAP Season 82 chess competition.
In the men's division, Jeth Romy Morado and Renze Kyle Sevillano underscored their standing as the top two junior chessers in the country with much-needed victories on the top two boards. Their wins helped FEU down Adamson University, 2.5-1.5, as they continue to pull away from the pack after three rounds.
Living up to their strengths as the champion and runner-up in the National Juniors Championship early this year, Morado wielded the Caro-kann Defense like magic in besting Remark Bartolome in 44 moves, while Sevillano dismantled Allan Cantonjos' Center-Counter game in 51 moves.
John Merill Jacutina also employed the Caro-kann against Khristian Clyde Arellano but got only a 30-move draw via a three-move repetition to complete the win on third board.
Godfrey Villamor delivered the lone victory for the Falcons, thanks to a marathon 77-move win of a Four Knights Game over many-time ASEAN Youth campaigner Israelito Rillaroza on fourth board.
Thanks to the win, the Tams hiked their total to 8.5 points, a clear two-point lead over the Falcons, who have 6.5 points.
National University (NU), which bamboozled De La Salle University, 3-1, leapfrogged to a three-way logjam for third spot with University of East (UE), which eked out a fighting 2-2 standoff with Ateneo de Manila University, and University of the Philippines (UP), which pulled the rug from under University of Santo Tomas (UST), 2.5-1.5, with 5.5 points apiece.
In the women's division, FEU survived UST's upset try to escape with a 2-2 draw, and keep its grip of the solo lead after three rounds as well.
Bea Mendoza saved the day for the Lady Tams as she crushed Jamaica Lagrio’s Sicilian Defense in 31 moves on second board to salvage the draw as former national women’s champion Shania Mae Mendoza was held to a 34-move standoff of a Trompovsky Opening by Maycydel Fajardo on top board.
May Ann Alcantara, for her part, was the Tigresses' saving grace as she outlasted Marife dela Torre in 44 moves of an English duel on third board.
The Board Four showdown between FEU's Rizalyn Jasmine Tejada and UST’s Vaneze Fe Villamil ended up in a 43-move split of a Center-Counter battle.
The draw saw FEU's two-point lead cut down to one as Ateneo wiped out UP, 4-0, on wins by Merlene Membrere, Alexis Osena, Manilyn Cabungcag and Laila Nadera to climb to second spot with 8.5 points.
Moving up to third with eight points was defending champion La Salle, which flattened Adamson, 4-0, on triumphs by Marie Antoinette San Diego, Ella Grace Moulic, Samantha Glo Revita and Francelle Eds Javier.
NU skidded from second to fourth with seven points after falling to UE.
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