RHENZI Kyle Sevillano has finally came out of his shell, and it needs only two rounds for the fourth year high school of University of San Carlos-Basic Education Department (USC-BED) to take the top spot in his division U16 of the 2014 Asean+ Age Group Chess Championships in Macau.

After trailing for the first four rounds, Sevillano is now at the top spot with three more rounds left top play.

Sevillano scored back-to-bak wins in Rounds 5 and 6 to get to the top.

The 15-year old chess champion from Tuburan, Cebu, defeated Anh Trung Pham of Vietnam in Round 5 and compatriot Ahmad Ali Azote in Round 6 to improve to 4.5 points.

Although he shared the top spot with Azote, Sevillano got the No.1 spot because of his superior tie break.

In today’s seventh round, Sevillano will play Minh Tu Le of Vietnam, who had 4.0 points after six matches.

While Sevillano is now surging, Lapu-Lapu City’s Jerish John Velarde dropped to the 7th place after suffering his first loss in Round 5 and another draw in Round 6.

The 7-year old Grade 1 pupil of Lapu-Lapu Central Elementary School lost to CM Leon Luke Mendonca of India in Round 5 and salvaged a draw with Ern Merrick Tan Yi of Singapore in Round 6 to carry 4.0 points entering the final three rounds of the Open Under-8 competition.

His opponent this morning is Battulga Anar of Mongolia who also had 4.0 points entering in today’s Round 7 and 8.

The other Cebuano campaigners – Casey Manlosa (Girls U8), Alphecca Gonzales (Girls U10) and Glesit Marie Tatoy (Girls U12) had their own shares of ups and downs.

Manlosa (2.0pts) dropped her two matches against Zi Xuan Haw of Singapore and Luu Ha Bich Ngoc of Vietnam; Gonzales (3.5) drew with Ngan Ha Nguyen of Vietnam and lost to Theresa Singgih Diajeng of Indonesia and Tatoy (2.5) also drew his fifth round match with Aashna Makhija of India then lost her round 6 game with Xinyu Li of China. (RCM)