So, Jose pad lead in Battle of GMs

Men’s individual standings after round 10:

7.5 – GM Wesley So
6.5 – IM Oliver Barbosa, IM Richard Bitoon
6.0 – GM Rogelio Antonio Jr., GM Darwin Laylo, GM Joseph Sanchez, GM Eugene Torre
5.0 – GM Mark Paragua
4.5 – IM Rolando Nolte, GM Rogelio Barcenilla
4.0 – GM John Paul Gomez
3.5 – IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia
3.0 – GM Roland Salvador
1.0 – IM Yves Ranola

Women’s individual standings after round 9:
8.0 – WFM Rulp Ylem Jose
6.5 – WNM Janelle Mae Frayna
6.0 – WFM Cherry Ann Mejia, WNM Jedara Docena, WIM Beverly Mendoza
5.0 – WIM Catherine Perena
4.0 – WNM Jan Jodilyn Fronda
3.5 – WFM Marie Antoinette San Diego
2.5 – Jenny Rose Palomo, Shania Mae Mendoza, Mira Mirano
1.5 – Rowelyn Acedo

THREE-TIME defending champion Grandmaster Wesley So regained his winning touch to pad his lead entering the homestretch of the National Chess Championships: 4th Battle of the Grandmasters Thursday night at the National Press Club.

After five successive draws and yielding the spotlight to his pals, So put more cushion between him and the rest of the field with a victory over International Master Yves Ranola in the 10th round.

He raised his total to 7.5 points, a least a full point ahead of everyone else in the tournament supported by Pilipinas Shell, Manila Pavilion Waterfront Hotel and Casino, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, NPC, Remate and Hataw (JSY Publication).

It was his first win since the fourth round and relinquishing the headline to bosom buddy IM Oliver Barbosa and mentor IM Richard Bitoon.

The two made waves in the middle rounds and ended up with a GM norm each after nine games. They split the point in the 10th to maintain their positions with similar 6.5 points.

GMs Rogelio Antonio, Jr. and Joseph Sanchez gained grounds with victories over lower rated opponents. Antonio beat IM Rolando Nolte while Sanchez downed IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia.

Antonio and Sanchez shared fourth to seventh spots with GMs Eugene Torre and Darwin Laylo at 6.0 points. Torre and Laylo halved the point with GMs Mark Paragua and John Paul Gomez, respectively.

GM Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr. rounded up the men’s round with a win over GM Roland Salvador.

In the distaff side, defending champion Woman FIDE Master Rulp Ylem Jose toppled WFM Marie Antoinette San Diego to pull away from the rest of the field with 8.0 points. She is 1.5 points ahead of her closest pursuer with two rounds to go.

Reigning national junior GU-20 champion Woman National Master Janelle Mae Frayna defeated WNM Jan Jodilyn Fronda to climb at solo second place with 6.5 points.

In other matches, WNM Jedara Docena stunned Woman International Master Beverly Mendoza; WNM Jenny Rose Palomo topped Mira Mirano; Shania Mae Mendoza scalped Rowelyn Joy Acedo; and WFM Cherry Ann Mejia split the point with WIM Catherine Perena.

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