Secopito loses grip of rapid chess lead
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - December 3, 2019 - 12:00am

SUBIC BAY, Zambales, Philippines — The Philippines’ Catherine Secopito fell to top seed Pham Le Thao Nguyen of Vietnam and drew with second pick Tan Li Ting of Malaysia yesterday to lose her grip of the lead in rapid chess of the 30th SEA Games at the Traveller’s Hotel here.

Secopito took the solo lead after beating countrywoman Shania Mendoza and Manunthon Atikankhotchasee of Thailand and halving the point with Gong Qianyun of Singapore with 2.5 points after three rounds.

But the many-time Olympiad veteran couldn’t sustain her momentum and faltered in the next two rounds.

Ummi Fisabillah of Indonesia and Nguyen Thi Mai Hung of Vietnam shared the lead with four points apiece while Gong was in solo third with 3.5 points.

Secopito was tied for fourth with Indonesian Irine Kharisma Sukandar with three points apiece and could breathe life to her golden chances if she could come up big in the final four rounds today.

The Philippines’ Jan Emmanuel Garcia and Paulo Bersamina fared worsen as the former was at joint fifth with two points and the latter at seventh with 1.5 points.

Garcia couldn’t sustain his victory in online chess, a demo sport, the day before.

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