By Jean Malanum

TWO-WAY TIE. International Master Daniel Quizon during the Open division of the Eastern Asia Juniors and Girls Chess Championships at the Sabah Oriental Hotel in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia on Dec. 5, 2023. Quizon is in a two-way tie for the lead with Jan Emmanuel Garcia after three rounds in the Philippine National Chess Championships at the Marikina Community Convention Center on Dec. 28, 2023. (Contributed photo)

MANILA – International Masters Daniel Quizon and Jan Emmanuel Garcia scored contrasting victories in the third round to keep the lead in the Philippine National Chess Championships, dubbed “Battle of the Grandmasters,” at the Marikina Community Convention Center on Thursday night.

Quizon defeated Samson Chiu Chin Lim III in 64 moves of a Sicilian encounter while Garcia downed Jerish John Velarde in 33 moves of the English Opening.

The unbeaten Quizon and Garcia have a one-point lead over the group of Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna, FIDE Masters Christian Gian Karlo Arca and Mark Jay Bacojo, and GM John Paul Gomez.

The 14-year-old Arca, winner in the World Youth blitz in Italy a month ago, drew with Frayna in 30 moves of a Three Knights match.

Bacojo, 17, and Olympiad veteran Paulo Bersamina split the points in 67 moves of a Slav encounter while the match between Gomez and GM Darwin Laylo ended in a draw after 26 moves of another Slav game.

In other matches, IM Barlo Nadera beat WIM Marie Antoinette San Diego in 61 moves of a Benoni while GM Joey Antonio drew with Vince Angelo Medina after 68 moves of the Modern Defense.

Quizon and Garcia will meet Laylo and Nadera, respectively, in the fourth round of the event presented by Marikina City Mayor Marcy Teodro and Congresswoman Maan Teodoro.

Three slots to the 2024 World Chess Olympiad in Budapest, Hungary and PHP120,000 in cash are at stake in the tournament supported by National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) chairman and president Prospero Pichay, Jr., Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham Tolentino, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Richard Bachmann, the Eugene Torre Chess Foundation, and Pan de Amerikana’s Jundio Salvador. (PNA)