DANIEL QUIZON couldn’t find anything from a slight positional edge and settled for a draw with fellow International Master (IM) Kazybek Nogerbek of Kazakhstan to fall from a share of the lead to a share of second after the 10th and penultimate round of the World Juniors Chess Championships in Gujarat, India.

The 20-year-old Budapest Olympiad-bound World Cup veteran appeared to have gained an advantage and initiative in their Sicilian duel when he came out with a pair of deadly bishops and control of the central files.

But Mr. Nogerbek found a way to neutralize it and force a 33-move draw by perpetual check.

That pushed Mr. Quizon, whose trip is being backed by Kamatyas Chess Club’s David Almirol, Jr. and IM Roderick Nava, from once having a place at the helm with four others down to sharing No. 2 with Mr. Nogerbek, Armenian Grandmaster (GM) Emin Ohanyan and Serbian GM Luka Budisavljevic with 7.5 points apiece.

They were half a point behind GM Mamikon Gharibyan of Armenia, who seized the solo lead with eight points after he downed Russian-born IM Rudik Makarian of FIDE.

The standoff was a big blow to Mr. Quizon’s chances of becoming the first Filipino to win this annual meet and becoming an outright GM in the process.

There’s still a glimmer of hope for Mr. Quizon to achieve that feat though if he wins over Mr. Ohanyan and the stars align with him in the final round.

Regardless of what happens, Mr. Quizon’s original intent was to earn rating points to breach the 2500-rating plateau for him to become a full-pledged GM.

So far, he has earned 13.4 rating points in 10 games and has jumped from 2448 to 2461.4.

But of course, nothing compares to winning it all. — Joey Villar