FILIPINO International Master (IM) Michael Concio, Jr. downed FIDE Master Daniyal Sapenov of Kazakhstan in the eighth and penultimate round yesterday to have a chance at a top three finish in the Asian Juniors Chess Championships at the Knights Templar Hotel in Tagaytay City.
The reigning 17-year-old Mr. Concio outplayed Mr. Sapenov in the opening where the reigning Asian juniors rapid king sacrificed a pawn to end up snatching two pawns several moves later and whipping up a vicious queenside attack that ended with an unstoppable passed pawn.
The win catapulted Mr. Concio to a five-way logjam at second with 5.5 points apiece, or a full point behind solo leader IM G.B. Hasrhavardhan of India, who smashed local bet Eric Labog, Jr. in 53 moves of an English duel to remain on top with 6.5 points.
Mr. Concio could secure at least a top three finish if he could beat IM Saha Neelash of India, the same player the former bested in the seventh and last round to rule the rapid meet several days ago. — Joey Villar