San Beda’s Philip Oncita pulled off a shock fourth round reversal over fancied Dale Bernardo to force a four-way tie for the juniors lead halfway through the NCR leg of the 24th Shell National Youth Active Chess Championships at SM Megamall Event Center in Mandaluyong over the weekend.
The 13th-ranked Oncita toppled Charles Lim, John Pascual and Phileo Pagala in the first three rounds then surprised thetop-seeded Bernardo from FEU in the fourth with the black then hurdled Noel Geronimo to stay unbeaten after five rounds of the 9-round Swiss system tournament.
Oncita’s hot start put him in the lead with second seed Julius Gonzales of La Salle-Greenhills Gen. Pio del Pilar’s No. 7 Jester Sistoza, and No. 14 Jamaica Marie Lagrio of UE, half-a-point ahead of longshotAlexis Suede of RMCHS with 18 others a full point adrift, including Bernardo and No. 3 Istraelito Rilloraza.
Meanwhile, three shared lead in the kiddies side while second seed Kyz Llantada of Arellano U seized the solo lead in the seniors division of the two-day tournament which selects the top three players in the three divisions and the top lady finisher for berths in the grand finals in October.