Francois Marie Magpily kept her poise in the stretch then nipped four others in the tiebreak to capture the juniors crown and also the Top Female award in the Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship’s NCR leg held at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall last Sunday.
The No. 6 Magpili, who swept her first five games in impressive fashion, upended fifth seed Earl Mantilla and No. 9 Cedrick Gaddi at resumption then bounced back from an eighth round loss to top seed Julius Gonzales with a final round draw with No. 8 Michael Erese to finish with 7.5 points.
Gonzales, Erese, Carl Ancheta and Joshua Navarro also wound up with 7.5 points but Magpily, playing out of
Gen. Pio del Pilar National High School, took the crown on superior tiebreak score to become the first female player to win an overall division crown.
Erese, from Arellano University, took the runner-up honors while Gonzales of La Salle Greenhills edged Ancheta and Navarro for third and the last berth in the national finals of the 25th staging of the country’s longest talent-search sponsored by Pilipinas Shell.
Sharing top honors were Cyrus Francisco of San Beda and Far Eastern U ace Dale Bernardo, who ruled the kiddies and seniors categories, respectively, of the second leg of the five-stage regional elims sanctioned by the NCFP.
Joining the grand finals are the two other top female players Roilanne Marie Alonzo of La Concepcion College-Bulacan and Ynna Canape of UP, who pooled six points each in the kiddies and seniors divisions, respectively.
WIM Charlene Suede, a former SNYACC finalist, and Shell ER Adviser for Brands Karla Lucban-Zarate graced the awards rites of the tournament backed by Shell V-Power, Shell Advance, Shell Rimula, Shell Helix, Shell Fuel Save, andShell Card and held in partnership with SM Supermalls.
The third-ranked Francisco, who scored 4.5 points in the first five rounds, split the point with Srihaan Poddar in the sixth then crushed Jeremiah Cruz and Al-Basher Buto before the San Beda bet halved the point with Chester Reyes to finish tied for first with Reyes and Cedric Abris with 7.5 points.
Francisco took the 7-12 age-group crown with a superior tiebreak score.
Reyes, from Southville-8B NHS, placed second while Abris, from Don Bosco Technical School, settled for the third and last spot in the national finals set October 7-8, also at the SM Mall of Asia.
Bernardo also ended up tied for first with Jeth Morado and Darry Bernardo at 7.5 points but beat his fellow FEU bets for the 17-20 crown via tiebreak.
Dale Bernardo, behind by one point to Melwyn Baltazar after five rounds, tripped Kyz Llantada, Kenneth Flores and Baltazar then drew with brother Darry in the final round.
Meanwhile, the third leg will be held Aug. 12-13 in Cagayan de Oro at SM City with Davao hosting the fourth stop on Sept. 2-3, also at SM City, before the elims winds up in Cebu on Sept. 16-17, also at SM City.