DANIEL Quizon smothered fellow International Master (IM)  Dao Minh Nhat to seize the solo lead after six rounds in the premier Open Under-20 class of the 21st ASEAN+ Age Group Chess Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.

Mr. Quizon, 19, found a way to turn a slim advantage in an opposite-colored bishops endgame into a 61-move victory of a timid English Opening duel that catapulted him straight to the top with five points with three rounds to go.

Thai FIDE Master Prin Laohawirapap, Mr. Quizon’s erstwhile co-leader, fell from the pedestal after escaping with a 57-move draw against Vietnamese FM Ngo Duc Tri in their Trompovski duel.

Mr. Laohawirapap stumbled to second with 4.5 points, half a point ahead of Mr. Ngo and Filipino IM Michael Concio, Jr., who stormed back into title-contention with a snappy triumph over another Vietnamese Pham Phu Quang.

Mr. Concio’s resurgence bolstered the chances of the Filipinos, whose trip were being bankrolled by the Philippine Sports Commission and supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines and Philippine Olympic Committee, finishing in the top two.

At press time, Messrs. Quizon and Concio were battling Messrs. Ngo and Laohawirapap, respectively, in the seventh round at press time.

Another Philippine bet, Ruelle Canino, likewise stayed in the golden hunt after she slew top seed and erstwhile solo No. 1 Nguyen Ha Khanh Linh in the girls’ U16 division.

Thanks to the shock win, the 15-year-old Cagayan de Oro lass caught up on Ms. Nguyen at the helm with five points each. — Joey Villar