AFTER copping a team gold medal and an individual silver Monday in girls 16-under standard event, Ella Grace Moulic of Davao City grabbed the lead in Round 4 of the Asean+ Age-Group Chess Championships girls 16U rapid category in Macau, China yesterday.

The 16-year-old Dabawenya also earned a woman candidate master (WCM) title after her individual silver finish in the standard division.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) regional director and international arbiter James Infiesto confirmed Moulic's new title. "WCM na si Ella as per tournament rules," Infiesto, who is serving as an arbiter in the Macau chessfest, said in a Facebook conversation yesterday.

Fourth-seeded Moulic, a student of the Holy Cross of Davao College, kept the Philippines' title hopes alive as she edged fellow 3.5 scorer teammate Shania Mae Mendoza, who clinched the girls 16U standard individual gold earlier, via superior tiebreaks. The top-seeded Mendoza placed second instead while while fifth-seeded WCM Thuy Vy Bui of Vietnam took the solo third with three points.

Top-seeded woman Fide master (WFM) Thi Dieu Ai Vu of Vietnam led two other 2.5 scorers Nithyalakshmi Sivanesan and Koo Wi Xin Rosamund of Malaysia who came fifth and sixth, respectively.

Philippines' Samantha Glo Revita shared the seventh to 10th place with two-pointers Jia-Tien Chua of Malaysia, Si Min Tan of Singapore and Ganchimeg Batsaikhan of Mongolia. Trailing behind were Hoang Anh Nguyen of Vietnam (1.5) and Laos players Daophasouk Chanthaphavong and Vongthong Somphavat with one point each.

Souphatta Chantavong of Laos and Zhiyang Liang of China each absorbed straight four defeats.

Moulic split the point with Mendoza in their fourth round clash following three straight wins over Vu, Nithyalakshmi and Chantaphavong.

Philippines also leads as Moulic, Mendoza and Revita combined for nine points followed by Vietnam and Malaysia with seven points apiece in shared second and third places while Laos, which had two points, stayed at the cellar of the girls 16U rapid team standings.

In boys 14-under, former Ateneo de Davao University mainstay John Marvin Miciano earned three points to share the fourth to sixth spots with Singapore's Qing Aun Lee and Filipino John Merill Jacutina. FM Xiangyi Liu scored perfect four points to lead the event while compatriot FM Jingyao Tin and CM Minh Hoang Le of Vietnam took the next two places with identical 3.5 points.

Moulic's fifth round assignment is Bui while 14th-seeded Miciano's next opponent is Lee.