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Shell chess leaders

Sungyeong Aparte and Wesley Magbanua flashed top form and swept their first six matches to wrest the solo lead in their respective divisions in the 25th Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship Southern Mindanao leg at SM City Davao last Saturday.

The ninth-ranked Aparte stamped his class over Mae Ducusin, Joy Atupan, Benjie Brobo and Roger Olaso Jr. then the Gen. Santos City NHS mainstay stunned fourth seed Ellyz Bongato and No. 3 Kurt Placencia to move on top with six points in the junior division of the country’s longest talent-search sponsored by Pilipinas Shell.

Magbanua, on the other hand, lived up to his top billing in the kiddies section as the Jose Maria College standout trampled Renie Asilum, Pierce Villanueva, Mae Vitor, Nathalie Liscano, Joannah Olay and Charliemagne Arias to seize command in the three-division tournament serving as the fourth leg of the five-stage regional eliminations culminating in the grand finals next month.

Rafael dela Torre Jr., another Jose Maria College ace, also took the solo lead in seniors play with 5.5 points as the seventh-ranked bet eased past Carla Frias, Jelord Villareal, Charles Fiel, John Diaz and Francis Guimalan while halving the point with Dhona Yngayo in the fifth round.

Earlier, Shell Sasa Depot manager Nicole Dandan and Ariel Capidos, representing councilor April Dayap, made the ceremonial moves kicking off the two-day tournament also graced by Shell Retail District manager for Mindanao Arvin Obmerga.