by Kristel Satumbaga
International Master Daniel Quizon and Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna kept their stranglehold of the lead in their respective division midway through the grueling blitz division of the Southeast Asian Games selection process on Sunday at separate venues in Makati and Quezon City.
Quizon, the youngest of all nine participants in the core team that survived the tough series of qualifying tournaments, downed FIDE Master Arden Reyes to continue to break away from the chase pack with 28 points after 45 rounds.
Six points behind him was GM Darwin Laylo, who defeated IM Paulo Bersamina, to hike his total to 22 points while IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia, who downed IM Ronald Bancod, was at third spot with 21.5 points.
GM John Paul Gomez was at fourth with 21 points while at the bottom half were GM Joey Antonio (20), Bersamina (20), FM Mari Joseph Turqueza (18.5), Reyes (17.5) and Bancod (11.5).
Frayna reclaimed the lead in the women’s section with 20.5 points after 32 rounds, just a point ahead of fellow Olympiad veteran WIM Bernadette Galas with 19.5.
WFM Cherry Ann Mejia (16.5), WIM Shania Mae Mendoza (15.5) and Francois Marie Magpily (11) complete the women’s core squad vying for SEAG seats.