CAGAYAN Valley pride Jan Clifford Labog shocked heavy favorite International Master Michael Concio, Jr. yesterday to seize a share of the lead with his recent victim after seven rounds of the Philippine National Juniors and Kiddies Chess Championships in Alicia, Isabela.
Against all odds, the 31st ranked, 17-year-old Mr. Labog slew the top-seeded Mr. Concio, a World Cup veteran and the reigning titlist, in snaring a share of the lead with the big fish he caught with six points apiece going into the final two rounds.
Mr. Labog, a Grade 11 student at Solano High School who topped last year’s MVPSF Rapid Championships, was trying to sustain his giant-slaying ways against sixth pick Oscar Joseph Cantela in the eighth round at press time of this event backed by host Mayor Joel Alejandro.
Similarly, the girls’ section had its share of upsets as Ma. Elayza Villa pulled the rug from under No. 1 seed Mhage Gerriahlou Sebastian and escaped with a draw with No. 5 pick Ruelle Canino in the sixth and seventh rounds to grab a piece of the lead with the latter two with 5.5 points apiece.
In the boys kiddies class, Phil Martin Casiguran halved the point with Mar Aviel Carredo to remain atop the heap with six points, or a full point ahead of No. 2 Pat Ferdolf Macabulos.
Deandra Castronuevo hurdled Princess Rane Magallanes to catch up on erstwhile solo leader Gllasea Ann Hilario, who was held to a draw by Ghierzen Lhou Sebastian, at the helm with 5.5 points each. — Joey Villar