San Diego grabs share of round 2 lead in chessfest

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ANTOINETTE SAN DIEGO sent 13-year-old wunderkind Ruelle Canino back to earth with a 52-move win of a King’s Indian Defense to share the lead with three others after two rounds of the 2021 Philippine Women’s Chess Championship at the PACE Building in Quezon City on Saturday.

San Diego, an Olympiad veteran, pounced on an opening blunder by Canino to emerge a piece up and nursed it until the end to extract the full point and forge a four-way logjam on top with Kylen Joy Mordido, Shania Mae Mendoza and Jan Jodilyn Fronda with 1.5 points each.

Mordido and Fronda battled to a 34-move standoff of an English Opening while Mendoza turned back Lexie Grace Hernandez in 66 moves of a Queen’s Pawn opening.

It was a heartbreaking defeat for Canino, who was hoping to follow up on her shock 96-move triumph over top seed and the country’s first and only Woman Grandmaster so far, Janelle Mae Frayna, of a Jobava System of the London Opening in the first round Saturday night.

Frayna was quick to bounce back from that stinging defeat by outlasting fellow national team mainstay Bernadette Galas in 57 moves of a French encounter in the event staking P50,000 to the champion and a slot to next year’s Hanoi Southeast Asian Games.

Rinoa Mariel Sadey also barged into the win column following a 44-move win over Allaney Jia Doroy of an English Opening.

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