Pimentel, Lagula share lead in National Juniors qualifying

JOEL PIMENTEL, JR. and McDominique Lagula beat separate rivals in the fourth round to share the lead in the Open Division of the 2012 National Juniors Chess Championships Visayas leg at the Cabagnot Training Center in Kalibo, Aklan.

Pimentel, champion in the Open Under-20 category of the recently concluded National Age Group Visayas leg, took the scalp of erstwhile undefeated Vince Angelo Medina of Far Eastern U while Lagula downed Jose Carlo Castro of Caloocan.

The co-leaders are set to meet in the fifth round.

Second seed FIDE Master Paulo Bersamina of Pasay were right behind the leaders with 3.0 points following his victory over Normel de Jesus of Bulacan.

Also part of the chase group were Medina, Paul Robert Evangelista of Pangasinan, Jan Francis Mirano of Aklan, Jude Emil Fronda of University of Santo Tomas, Franz Robert Grafil of De La Salle and Paul Benjamin Casiano of Bulacan.

In the Girls Division, Woman FIDE Master Marie Antoinette San Diego of Cavite trounced Loraine Salinas of UST and Gladys Hazelle Romero of FEU in succession to grab the solo lead with a perfect 4.0 points.

Judith Pineda of Olongapo failed to keep pace and was in solo second with 3.5 points after settling for a draw against Christine Joyce Laz of UST.

Romero, Salinas and Sta. Rosa bet Ruth Aubrey De Guzman were also in striking distance with 3.0 points apiece.

The top five finishers in both divisions will advance to the Grand Finals, which will determine the representatives of the Philippines to the 2012 World Juniors Chess Championships in Athens, Greece. The Grand Finals is slated on April 23–30 in Tanauan City, Batangas. Noli Cruz

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