Claros stumbles in quarterfinals

Published December 21, 2020, 1:25 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Unheralded April Joy Claros saw her fairytale run end after yielding to Indonesian Laysa Latifah, 2-0, in the quarterfinals of the girls 14-under of the FIDE World Cadets and Youth Rapid Chess Championships Monday.

The 13-year-old Claros had a chance to level the score after dropping the first of their two-game duel when she gained a positional advantage in the middle game.

But she failed to convert it and allowed Latifah to dig her way out of trouble and snatch the win.

It was a heartbreaking defeat for the incoming sophomore at Far Eastern University-Diliman, who made it this far despite being only a wildcard entry and seeded 14th in the 16-player knockout round.

Claros was riding the crest of her shocking triumph over third seed Martyna Starosta of Poland in a match that was decided via the “Armageddon” playoff that the Filipina won in style.

But she ran through a familiar foe in Latifah, who repeated the latter’s win over the former in the Asian qualifier a week ago by seizing the opening game of their quarters duel.