FILIPINOS Ella Grace Moulic and Samantha Glo Revita earned identical two points to share the lead after Round 2 in girls 16 standard event of the Asean+ Age-Group Chess Championships in Macau, China on Thursday.
Top-seeded Shania Mae Mendoza of the Philippines and Mongolia's Ganchimeg Batsaikhan made 1.5 points each to share the third and fourth places while third-seeded Hoang Anh Nguyen and fifth-seeded woman candidate master (WCM) Thuy Vy Bui of Vietnam took the next two spots with one point along with ninth-ranked Daophasouk Chanthaphavong of Laos and 11th-seeded Liang Zhiyang of China.
Trailing behind were second-seeded woman Fide master (WFM) Thi Dieu Ai Vu of Vietnam and eighth-seeded Wei Xin Rosamund Koo of Malaysia who struggled with 0.5 apiece.
The fourth-seeded 16-year-old Moulic, the lone Davao City player in the Team Philippines, outclassed Bui after beating 10th-seeded Souphatta Chanthavong of Laos in the opening round of the nine-round Swiss System format competition.
The sixth-seeded Revita, for her part, upset Nguyen of Vietnam in the second round on the heels of defeating 12th-seeded Somphavat Vongthong of Laos.
Moulic, a student of the Holy Cross of Davao College, and Revita were set to clash in the third round as of presstime.
Moulic's father, Alfred, said his daughter's second round opponent was among the heavy favorites in their category, saying, "WCM na si Vy. Isa na sa ginahadlokan ni Ella (Vy is a WCM and she's one of those that Ella fears)."
The elder Moulic also said Ella and Revita had played each other several times.
"Since 2012, wala na kadaug si Revita kay Ella. Ikatulo na ata nila mag-abot dis year (Revita has not beaten Ella since 2012. They've met three times this year already),"Alfred said.
Both players also faced each other in the Palarong Pambansa in Dapitan and Pangasinan, Batang Pinoy nationals and National Age-Group Chess Championships.
But Alfred said the two might settle for a truce, adding: "Basig i draw na nila kay close friends man gud na sila (They might draw the match since they are close friends)."
Moulic earned the right to represent the country after bagging the girls 16-under gold medal in the 2014 National Age-Group Chess Championships held in Quezon Province.
Another Dabawenyo Austin Jacob Literatus, who also emerged champion in boys 20 event in the nationals, failed to make the trip since his renewed passport arrived two days late.