Apayao pride Mhage Gerriahlou Sebastian survived a sixth round loss to the youngest player and win by just a half point the girls side of the 2021 Philippine National Juniors Chess Championship grand finals Tuesday in Quezon City.
The Women’s National Master Sebastian from Flora, Apayao, lost to the 13-year old Ruelle “Tawing” Canino in the sixth round but bounced back in the next three rounds to rule the female side of the tournament with 7.5 points and join FIDE Master Alekhine Nouri at the top podium after her male counterpart ruled the boys side with seven points.
Sebastian fell to Canino in 52 moves of English Opening after winning five straight games to which father, Jerzon Sebastian said on his Facebook wall, nearly dashed her hope of winning the title.
The father wrote: “that with your sixth round loss after five consecutive wins would cost your dream to become the next champion in the Philippine National Chess Championship Girls Division.”
The father thanked the provincial government led by Gov. Eleanor Bulut-Begtang and municipal government of Flora led by mayor Rodolfo Juan for their support to the campaign of his daughter, who is a member of the Far Easter University Baby Tamaraws.
He, likewise, thanked FEU coach GM Jayson Gonzales and Womens FIDE Master Michelle Yaon as well as her teammates for their support.
Canino, meanwhile, needed a draw in the last round but was outsmarted by Vic Glysen Derotas to settle for second place with seven points.
The last round win by Derotas gave her six points and solo third in the tournament that saw 10 players in each division.
Meanwhile, the Escalante City, Negros Occidental native named after one of the former world champions had a single loss but took the scalp of six of his opponents and two draws to edge two Cagayan de Oro players – Adrian Othniel Yulo and Ronald Canino, 6 points.
Canino, the older brother of the girls runner-up, actually finished tied with Istraelito Rilloraza but took the third spot with a higher tie break point.
The national juniors is the grand finals for the Asian Junior girls selection next year.
At fourth in the girls side is WNM Rinoa Mariel Sadey (5 points), WNM Ma. Elayza Villa (4.5), with Baguio pride and now FEU Tamaraws team member Bea Mendoza and Divine Grace Luna tied at sixth with 3.5 points, while WNM Lexie Grace Hernandez finished eighth with three points, and Jarel Renz Lacambra and Precious Ever Ferer took the last spots with 2.5 points.
In the boys side, Jarvey Labanda finished fifth with 5.5 points; followed by: Karlycris Clarito, Jr. (5), Christian Marcelo Olayba (4.5), AFM Johnmari Joseph Lu (3); AIM Jeremiah Luis Cruz (1.5); and, Khent Darylle Delig (0).