International Master Paulo Bersamina downed Nguyen Duy Linh of Vietnam to seize the solo lead in the rapid event of the premier Open Under-20 division of the ASEAN+ Age Group Chess Championships at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City Friday night.
The win pushed the 20-year-old Bersamina, a two-time Olympiad veteran, straight to solo first as he got help from countryman and top seed John Marvin Miciano, who held erstwhile co-leader FIDE Master Azarya Jodi Setyaki of Indonesia.
Bersamina has six points while Setyaki 5.5 in this nine-day tournament organized by Chess Events International, sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines under Butch Pichay, bankrolled by the Philippine Sports Commission and backed by Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte.
Woman FIDE Master Shania Mae Mendoza drew with WIM Nguyen Thanh Thuy Tien of Vietnam to remain comfortably perched on top in the premier girls U20 with six points, a full point ahead of countrywoman Ella Grace Moulic with five points.
Dale Bernardo downed brother Darry to hold sway in the open U18 with 6.5 points, half a point ahead of Far Eastern U's John Merill Jacutina, who slew top seed IM Tran Minh Thang of Vietnam, with six points.
The pair of wins assured the country of the team gold as all chessers in the top three are Filipinos.
In the open U16, FM Alekhine Nouri turned back the Philippines' John Rhuiz Bravo to keep a share of the lead with Vietnam's FM Pham Phu Vinh, who bested the Philippines' Kurt John Placencia, with 5.5 points apiece.
Al-Basher Buto drew with Indonesian Nambiar Aarav to pace the open U8 even as Ruelle Canino smashed Vietnamese Le Dang Bao Ngoc to spearhead the girls U10 with 6.5 points apiece.