CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Are we seeing the changing of the guard in Philippine chess?
Barely halfway in the 12-player round-robin contest, 17-year-old International Master Daniel Quizon wiped out all the Grandmasters in the field – Darwin Laylo, Janelle Mae Frayna, Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr. – to stay unbeaten in the 2021 Philippine National Chess Championship at the Solea Hotel and Resort in Mactan, Cebu.
And facing the winless IM Michael Concio Jr. (3 draws, 2 losses) and the non-titled Allan Pason (1 draw, 4 losses), the hot-streaking Quizon (5-0) is expected to even pad the lead in another double-header on Sunday, December 12.
Handling white, the youngest qualifier Quizon conquered the oldest campaigner Antonio, who at 59, is also the winningest with a record 13 titles in his 38th appearance in the national championship.
Oozing with talent and determination, the Dasmariñas City, Cavite pride Quizon – who is groomed to be the country’s next Wesley So – shattered Antonio’s bread and butter Caro-Kann defense.
Playing the opening well into the middlegame, Quizon reached a favorable three pawns versus one pawn endgame position in the queenside that forced Antonio’s resignation after the teen sensation’s solid Rd3 deployment on the 40th move.
“Brilliant in all his wins, Quizon may seem very well-prepared coming into this year’s national championship,” said chess journalist US Master Marlon Bernardino.
Veteran Ricardo de Guzman held fellow IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia to a draw with black to stay at solo second with a 4-point total.
Garcia shared the third spot with IMs Paulo Bersamina and Ronald Dableo at 3 points.
Bersamina drew with IM Joel Pimentel, while Dableo notched his third win at the expense of the cellar-dweller Pason in this 11-round tourney that stakes a berth to the national squad bound for the 2023 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Thailand, plus an P80,000 top purse.
Standings after Round 5:
- 5 points – IM Daniel Quizon
- 4 points – IM Ricardo de Guzman
- 3 points – IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia, IM Paulo Bersamina, IM Ronald Dableo
- 2.5 points – GM Darwin Laylo
- 2 points – GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr., M Joel Pimentel, IM John Marvin Miciano
- 1.5 point – WGM Janelle Mae Frayna, IM Michael Concio Jr.
- 0.5 point—Allan Pason