By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
International Master Jan Emmanuel Garcia downed FIDE Master Mari Joseph Turqueza and seized the solo lead after seven rounds in the “Road to Batumi” chess championships at the Alphaland Makati Place late Wednesday.
Garcia, 22, needed 65 moves of a King’s Indian Attack in beating Turqueza to hike his tally to 5.5 points on four wins and three draws.
He halved the point with Grandmaster John Paul Gomez in the sixth round Wednesday morning.
Turqueza, for his part, suffered his second straight loss after bowing to IM Haridas Pascua in Round 6 and slipped to a tie for second to fifth places with 4.5 points.
Joining Turqueza at the crowded second place were IM Paulo Bersamina, Pascua and Gomez.
Bersamina split the point with IM Chito Garma while Pascua also settled for a draw with GM Joey Antonio in 61 moves of a Sicilian game.
Antonio trailed behind with 4 points along with IM Richelieu Salcedo III.
In the women’s division, Woman FIDE Master Shania Mae Mendoza took the solo lead with 4 points after five rounds, followed by Woman FIDE Master Cherry Ann Mejia with 3.5 points.
Woman International Masters Marie Antoinette San Diego, Catherine Secopito and Bernadette Galas shared identical 3 points.