Makinano and Arellano, who had 6.0 points each, were half a point behind de los Santos who continued to stay at the top despite a rocky ride since winning five straight matches early in the competition.
Arellano could go all out for the monumental victory in the much-anticipated match against de los Santos at Board 1 at 9AM on the final day of the tournament today. Makinano meanwhile will need to dig deep into his arsenal of attacks to deny the youthful former University of the East player John Ernie Maranan at Boad no. 2.
The unrated Arellano, who started the tournament at 26th place, hit a snag early as he lost his opening round game to Cagayan de Oro’s Alfredo Rapanot. Although he strings up three straight wins he took another setback after losing to Makinano in Round 5.
However, it did not dampen the spirit of Arellano, instead, he rose to score three successive victories, over CdeO-base sports journalist Jaime Joshua Frias, Lapu-Lapu Naki Warriors teammate WIM Bernadette Galas and Jimmy Ty Jr., to shoot up to the no.2 spot. Arellano, Makinano and FM Roel Abelgas shared the 2nd to the 4th places with 6.0 points each. But Arellano gained the better tie break points having six wins over Makinano’s five and Abelgas’ four.
Makinano meanwhile scored five wins – against Oliver Dimalanta in Round 1, Jerlyn Mae San Diego (R2), Carlo Magno Rosaupan (R3), Arellano (R5) and IM Angelo Young (R7); settled to a draw with Abelgas (R6) and Antonio Chavez in round 8. His lone defeat was handed by de los Santos in the fourth round.
Meanwhile, youthful International Master Daniel Quizon stayed on top with 7.5 points after Round 9 in the star-studded Philippine National Open Chess Championships 2021 which was conducted separately at the same venue.
Quizon kept a 1.5 points lead over his closest chaser IM Ronald Dableo who has 6.0 points after nine rounds, and a full 2.0 points over IM Ricardo De Guzman who will start today’s final two rounds with 5.5 points.
The prodigy from Dasmariñas-Cavite is scheduled to play IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia at 8AM today and will close the competition against Dableo at 3 this afternoon.
This event was supported by PSC chair Butch Ramirez, NCFP president Rep. Butch Pichay, POC president Rep. Bambol Tolentino, Chess Movement Chairman Dr. Ariel Potot, PCSO through vice chairman and general manager Royina Garma and Atty. Roel Canobas. RCM