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Filipino Chess Prodigies Shine in Round 5 of FIDE World Youth Championships in Italy

MONTESILVANO, ITALY - Filipino FIDE Masters Mark Jay Bacojo and Christian Gian Karlo Arca achieved significant victories in their fifth-round matches at the FIDE World Youth Chess Championships, held at the Pala Dean Martin Centro Congressi in Montesilvano, Italy, on Friday.

According to Philippines News Agency, Bacojo showcased his skill by defeating French International Master Timothe Razafindratsima in a Sicilian Defense, Alapin Variation game, concluding the match in just 26 moves. This victory, marking his fourth in the tournament against one loss, catapulted him to sixth place from 13th in the Boys' Under-18 category. Bacojo is set to face Russian Grandmaster Volodar Murzin in his next round.

Similarly, Arca rose to the occasion by moving up to sixth place from 19th in the Boys' U-14 after his win over Uzbekistan's Miraziz Kuziev in a 60-move match featuring the London System Opening, Jobava Variation. With a total of 4.0 points (three wins, two draws), Arca is now preparing to meet Norwegian Isak Vinh Brattgjerd.

In the Girls' U-18 division, Woman National Master Franchesca Largo drew with Polish WFM Martyna Starosta after a prolonged 107-move game using the Slav Defense. This result elevated her to 10th place from 17th. Largo, holding 3.5 points (three wins, one draw, one loss), will confront Moldovian WFM Ana Petricenco in the upcoming sixth round.

The Girls' U1-4 category saw Woman National Master Bonjoure Fille Suyamin defeat Czech Republic's Amalie Zadrapova in 58 moves of the King's Indian Defense, marking her third victory. Suyamin is scheduled to play against Mexican Guadalupe Montano Vicente next.

Jirah Floravie Cutiyog, who drew with Norwegian Oda Kofoed Skramstad in the King's Indian Defense, also earned 3.0 points and will face American Jolie Huang in her next round. Anica Shey, following her win over Moldovian Ecaterina Comarnitcaia, will match up with Romanian Alexia Andries, while Maureinn Lepaopao, who has one point, is set to compete against Austrian Lena Antenreiter.

In the Girls' U-16 class, Woman National Master Kaye Lalaine Regidor triumphed over American Rowan Soraya Field, accumulating 3.0 points. Her next challenge is against Romanian Woman Candidate Master Lia-Alexandra Maria.

Other Filipino participants, Mark Gabriel Usman, Charly Jhon Yamson, and National Master Oscar Joseph Cantela, each secured 2.0 points in the Boys' U-14 and U-16 categories, with their next opponents being Melvin Ral Lustig (Sweden), Giorgi Chanturia (Georgia), and FM Adrian Soderstrom (Sweden), respectively.

Additionally, Mongolian GM Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa won the Blitz competition side event, while Bacojo and Arca tied for 5th to 10th places with other international players.

The Philippine chess team, supported by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, is coached by Arena Grandmaster Marlon Bernardino Jr., Woman FIDE Master Shania Mae Mendoza, and Ederwin Estavillo.

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