Woman International Master Marie Antoinette San Diego delivered a tour-de-force performance as she topped the Philippine National Women’s Chess Championship presented by Nova Wellness Store at the Pace Wednesday, Dec. 7.
The 23-year-old Dasmariñas bet sealed the title as early as the 10th and penultimate round Tuesday, Dec. 6, when she whipped Bea Mendoza in 33 moves of a Sicilian duel.
It left her final-round triumph over young gun April Joy Claros—a 33-move game of a Queen’s Gambit Accepted—as an icing on the cake as she claimed her first national women’s crown while pocketing the top purse worth P50,000 courtesy of Nova president Travis Vincent Chua.
It was an impressive effort for the Olympiad veteran as she finished unbeaten with 10.5 points on 10 victories including against former title-holders Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna and WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda and a draw.
The top-seeded Frayna drew with WIM Bernadette Galas in 30 moves of a French Defense to settle for a runner-up finish with eight points.
She received P30,000 in this tournament backed by the National Chess Federation, the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee.
Meanwhile, former national junior girls titlist Vic Glysen Derotas downed Franchesca Largo in 32 moves of a French showdown to snatch third place.
Derotas actually wound up tied at No. 3 with Fronda, who crushed Mendoza’s Caro-Kann Defense in 34 moves, with 7.5 points each but took the bronze via winner-over-the-other tiebreak in snaring the P20,000.
Fronda ended up fourth and with a consolation purse of P10,000.