By Kristel Satumbaga
Jerome Angelo Aragones turned back FIDE Master Alekhine Nouri in the 20th and final round to capture the second leg of the 1st Philippine National Bullet Championship held online over the weekend.
Aragones, 16, finished with 15.5 points for the crown, earning as well a semifinal berth for next month.
It was his first title since snaring a gold and silver in the blitz event of the Eastern Asia Age Group Championship last year in Thailand.
Aragones’ victory came out of nowhere after International Master Daniel Quizon, who was leading after 19 rounds, succumbed to Cotabato City native Datuali Sinsuat in the last round to settle for runner-up honors with 15 points.
It was Quizon’s second straight runner-up finish after also winding up second to opening leg winner Grandmaster Banjo Barcenilla.
United States-based GM Mark Paragua, meanwhile, had a quick draw with GM Darwin Laylo to end up third with 14.5 points.
Rounding up the Top 10 were Sinsaut, Henry Lopez, Jerome Villanueva, FM Sander Severino, Narquinden Reyes and Nouri.
The online chess tournament was held to continue the National Chess Federation of the Philippines’ program for athletes in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.