CHRISTIAN GIAN KARLO ARCA continued to hang with the big boys of the premier Open section of the Eastern Asia Juniors and Girls Chess Championships where he currently shares the lead with two others after six rounds in Karawaci-Tangerang, Indonesia.

The 15-year-old, Panabo, Davao del Norte-born Mr. Arca caught the biggest fish of them all in top seed Mongolian International Master (IM) Ganzorig Amartuvshin that sent the former zooming to the top alongside Mongolian International Master Munkhdalai Amilal of Mongolia and Indonesian FM Nayaka Budhidharma with five points apiece.

Mr. Arca was tackling Mr. Amilal in the seventh round at press time hoping to sustain his impressive charge and claim that IM title and Grandmaster (GM) norm he was dreaming to realize.

And it wasn’t a shock that Mr. Arca is keeping his torrid pace as he had also topped the blitz division of the World Youth Championship in Italy in November last year and a GM tournament in Vietnam last May.

In the girls’ section, Filipina Franchesca Largo smashed Shafira Devi Herfesa to jump to joint third with Mongolian Woman FM Nanjid Tsogzolmaa with 4.5 points apiece.

Ms. Largo was tangling with top seed and solo leader WIM Laysa Latifah of Indonesia with 5.5 points hoping to keep staying in the hunt.

Indonesian WFM Cecilia Natalie Liuviann was solo No. 2 with five points. — Joey Villar