DAVAO City pride IM John Marvin Miciano underscored his billing as the country's top junior player by ruling the 2020 Asian Junior Online Chess Championship qualifying tournament.
Miciano topped the three-day grand finals by scoring 12.5 points, a full point ahead of his closest pursuer and fellow IM Daniel Quizon in the 16-player, 15-round competition organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) in cooperation with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
With the win, the Go for Gold-backed Miciano earned the right to represent the country to the Asia Zone 3.3 qualifiers for the Asian Junior Online Chess Championship scheduled May 26 to June 3.
"I'm happy I made it again. It was hard but I did my best," said Miciano, who made his presence felt by winning the Asian Youth Under-18 Championship in 2018.
Quizon finished with 11.5 points.
As runner-up, Quizon also booked a seat to the Asian competition hosted by the Asian Chess Federation to keep the players busy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Palarong Pambansa double-gold medalist Eric Labog, Jr. of University of Perpetual Help, finished third also eith 11.5 points and qualufied for the Asian competition
But the 18-year-old Labog was stripped of his slot after his chess.com account was closed due to violation of fair play policy.
“We have to apply the rule that if your account at chess.com gets closed, you will be banned for three months from all our tournaments,” NCFP executive director Cliburn Orbe told sportswriters.
Orbe said Chester Neil Reyes, who finished fourth, will take Labog's place.
Labog's coach, FM Roel Abelgas, denied cheating allegations against his student and claimed he may have been suspended due to a lot of aborted games.
“Before Labog's account was closed, chess.com came out with a 60-minute policy. I also think it was also due to his aborted games, which was way too many" explained Abelgas.
In the girls division, the top three players are Kylen Joy Mordido, Allaney Jia Doroy and Jerlyn Mae San Diego.