WILDCARD April Joy Claros is making everybody take notice in the 2020 FIDE Asian Continental Online World Cadets and Youth Rapid Chess Championships
Claros, a mainstay of the Far Eastern University chess team, emerged as the country’s top performer by winning her first five matches and taking the lead in the girls 14-under category.
Claros, the 14-year-old campaigner from Angeles City, pulled the rug from under top seed WFM Varshini Sahithi of India in a crucial fourth round encounter.
Claros, who was personally nominated by GM Jayson Gonzales to be one of six wildcard entries of the Philippines, also defeated No. 2 seed WFM Vasnawala Visha of India in the third round and Al-Muani Aisha Mohamed of United Arab Emirates in the fifth round.
She won over No. 5 Rohilla Shivika of India and No. 3 WFM Davaakhuu Munkhzul of Mongolia in the first two rounds Friday.
The impressive performance of Claros means she has now beaten four of the first five seeds in her 31-player age category.
Claros’ sixth round opponent is her co-leader, No. 8 seed Laysa Latifha of Indonesia.
Also doing well for the 16-player Filipino delegation supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) are Michael Concio, Jr. and IM Daniel Quizon in the boys 16-under; King Whisley Puso in the boys 12-under; and Al-Basher Buto in the boys 10-under.
Concio drew with FM Kazybek Nogerbek of Kazakhstan in the third round and won over Sumiya Chinguun of Mongolia and FM Krishna Rohith of India to take the lead with 4.5 points out of a possible five.
Quizon, who won over Ngerbek in the fifth round, is half a point behind at four points.
Puso, a prized find from Santa Rosa, Laguna, won over A.R. Ilampharti of India and drew with Tian Poh Yu of Malaysia and Xiao Tong of China to stay third place with 4/5 in the boys 12-under
Puso is only half a point behind Yu and Tong with still two rounds left.
Buto, the country’s brightest hope in the 10-under, alsocontinued his strong showing by beating Jayden Ooi of Australia and Arshia Mohammadyansichani of Iran to remain in contention with 4/5.
Buto, the pride of Cainta, Rizal, is half point behind Anderson Ang of Malaysia and G. Aakash of India.
WIM Kylen Joy Mordido demolished Aiperi Mairambekova of Kyrgyzstan and WFM Anahita Zahedifar of Iran and drew with compatriot Jarel Renz Lacambra to climb into a tie for third to seventh places with 3.5/5 in the girls 18-under.
Lacambra is eighth with three points.
The other Filipinos bets are Paul Matthew Llanillo (3 points, boys 18-under); Mark Jay Bacojo (2.5, boys 14-under); Gian Karlo Arca (2.5, boys 12-under); Jhames Reyes (2,10-under); Phil Martin Casiguran ( 1,10-under); Jerlyn Mae San Diego ( 3, girls 16-under); Samantha Umayan ( 1.5, girl 14-under); Ruelle Canino ( 3, girls 12-under); and Franiel Angela Magpily 2.5, girls 10-under).
A total of 324 players, including one GM and 14 IMs, from 25 Asian countries are seeing action in this three-day, seven-round competition.
The top three finishers in each category will earn the right to represent Asia in the five-day championships scheduled Dec.19-23.
Also seeing action in the year-ending online competition by FIDE are top qualifiers from Europe, America and Africa.