MANILA — Fide Master Christian Gian Karlo Arca of the Philippines toppled Muhd Faqih Aminuddin of Malaysia to grab the share of the lead after four rounds in the Eastern Asia Juniors and Girls Chess Championship 2023 open division at the Sabah Oriental Hotel in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia on Monday, December 4.
The reigning Montesilvano, Italy, World Youth Open Blitz Champion improved his total score to 3.5 points, the same output as top seed IM Daniel Quizon, and third seed IM Michael Concio Jr. of the Philippines and FM Munkhdalai Amilal of Mongolia.
Quizon drew with Amilal while Concio toppled second seed IM Aditya Bagus Arfan of Indonesia.
"We hope to perform well in this event and gain some elo rating points and title norms," said 14-year-old Arca, a student of Dasmariñas Integrated High School in Cavite, a Go For Gold Siklab Young Heroes award, who is seeking his second of third IM norms.
Arca already has one norm he acquired in the 18th IGB Dato' Arthur Tan Malaysian Open Chess Championships, a nine-round tournament held at the Midvalley Megamall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from Aug. 28 to Sept. 3
The triumvirate (Arca, Quizon, and Concio) are members of the star-studded Dasmariñas Chess Academy headed by Mayor Jenny Barzaga, Rep. Elpidio "Pidi" Barzaga Jr., and national coach FM Roel Abelgas.
Jan Clifford Labog of the Philippines trounced compatriot NM Davin Sean Romualdez to score 3.0 points and emerged locked in a three-way tie for 5th along with countryman NM Ivan Travis Cu and Jason Warren Likoh of Malaysia.
Cu halved the point with CM Fabian Glen Mariano of Indonesia while Likoh defeated 8-year-old CM Danry Seth Romualdez of the Philippines.
In the girls' division, Woman National Master Ruelle Canino and Woman National Master Ma. Elayza Villa of the Philippines rebounded with victories over their respective rivals to remain in contention.
Smarting from a third-round setback to top seed WFM Boldbaatar Altantuya of Mongolia, Canino subdued Woman Fide Master Park Sunwoo of South Korea and climbed to 3.0 points, a half point behind co-leaders Altantuya and WFM Diajeng Theresa Singgih of Indonesia who drew their top board games.
Villa, who lost to second seed WFM Samantha Edithso of Indonesia in the third round, toppled Sadhana Prakash of Indonesia to raise her total by 2.5 points.
"We hope PH age group players can sustain their momentum," said National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) Chairman/ President Rep. Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr.
In the fifth round, Arca will meet Quizon in Board 1, Amilal against Concio in Board 2, Labog up against Cu in Board 3, and Arfan versus Likoh in Board 4.
On the distaff side, Canino will play with Singgih in Board 2 while Villa will test the mettle of Darwisyah Insyirah Nureen of Malaysia in Board 4. Marlon Bernardino