Julius Gonzales racked up three victories in the last four rounds, including the last over Noel Geronimo to emerge as solo champion in the juniors division while Mark Bacojo topped the kiddies play in the NCR leg of the Shell Na-tional Youth Active Chess Championships at SM Megamall Event Center in Mandaluyong on Sunday.
Gonzales, who shared the lead with three others after five rounds Saturday, ended the giant-killing spree of Philip Oncita at resumption, crushed Marie Lagrio then bounced back strong from an eighth-round setback to Istraelito Rilloraza with a victory over
Geronimo as the La Salle-Greenhills bet pooled an eight-point total in the nine-round Swiss system tournament sponsored by Pilipinas Shell.
Rilloraza scored 3.5 points in the last four rounds and wound up with 7.5 points, nipping Lee Palma and Jester Sisto-za in the tiebreak to clinch runner-up honors. Palma also closed out with 3.5 points to edge Sistoza, who had 2.5 points in the last four, for third place and the last berth in the grand finals slated in October.
Francois Marie Magpily, made 2.5 points in the last four rounds to finish with 6.5 points and clinch the lone female berth in the grand finals along with kiddies top female player Rheam Arah de Guzman and Rowelyn Joy Acedo from the seniors category.
On hand during awards rites were Melanie Bularan, Social Performance and Social Investment manager of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., and WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, one of the top products of the longest-running talent search in the country.
Bacojo, a mainstay of Escuela de Sto. Rosario, won two and drew twice in the last four rounds to assemble eight points and bag the crown in the 7-12 division, towing Chester Reyes and Cedrick Gaddi to the national finals along with the other winners of the four other regional qualifiers of the annual circuit sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.
Reyes, from San Isidro Labrador Elementary School, also finished strong with 3.5 points in the last four rounds to emerge solo second at 7.5 points while Gaddi scored three points to wind up with seven points and edge seven others for the third and last national finals spot in the 13-16 category.
No. 14 Lawrence Magura of Nazareth School swept his last four matches, including a final round upset of fourth ranked Jonathan Jota to rule the seniors section via tiebreak over No. 10 Eliseo Budoso, who stunned second seed Kyz Llantada in the final round. Both ended up with 7.5 points.
Adamson’s Clyde Arellano rebounded from a sixth round loss to No. 5 Prince Reyes with a sweep of his last three games to finish with seven points and nip four others in the tiebreak for the last berth in the national finals in the 17-20 division.
Philip Oncita, who shocked top seed Dale Bernardo in the fourth round to force a four-way tie for the juniors lead, sputtered at resumption, scoring just half-a-point while losing three games to end up joint 32nd.
Meanwhile, the circuit resumes on July 2-3 for the Southern Luzon leg at SM City Batangas Event Center in Batangas.