12-year old Philgymn Villajuan, a grade 6 pupil of Brgy Legaspi Elementary School in Marabut, Western Samar ruled the Kiddies Division of the 23rd Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship-Visayas Leg last weekend at SM City-Cebu.
The diminutive mainstay of Doyâ€™s Chess Club made sure that he will bring home the Kiddies title Â by outplaying 6th ranked CPUâ€™s Gil Casa Jrâ€™s Queenâ€™s pawn opening by employing his pet, Slav defense in the final round and came out solo champion with 8.0 points, 7 wins & 2 draws. The road to victory encountered some harrowing experiences when the Bohol Chess Contingent downed with only 12 players from the original list of 30 were stranded at the City pierâ€™s passenger terminal when Coast Guard authorities did not give clearanceÂ to the shipâ€™s captain to travel after news broke out that typhoon Egay has just entered Visayas region Â last Friday.
The group decided to proceed to Tubigon pier early morning and caught up the 7:00 am trip to Ouano wharf, Mandaue City in time for the opening round upon arrival.
The 17th ranked Villajuan drew with top seed Adrian de Luna of Sta. Barbara Elementary School, 8th ranked Catherine Regina Quinanola of Malabuyoc Elementary School and annihilated one by one – James Paraon of Labangon Elementary School, USCâ€™s Angel Bagano, Tacloban Cityâ€™s Eunice Tunggol, Marian Calimbo of Malabuyoc Elementary School, Inabangaâ€™s Richard Gohetia Jr, and Antequeraâ€™s Angel Mae Hibaya. â€œDaku ko ug pasalamat sa mga taga Doyâ€™s Chess Club labi na nilang Moy-moy Longjas ug Gerry Milan nga mao gyud ang mihatag ug dugang techniques sa opening, middlegame ug endgame kang Philgymâ€, said the father, Brooks in vernacular.
Villajuan will advance to the grand finals set on September 19-20 at SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City; all expenses paid by Shell Petroleum Corporation. He will engage against regional qualifiers. He honed his skills at the Doyâ€™s Chess Club and joined weekend tournament. Â He was this yearâ€™s Panaytayon Kiddies Champion, placed 2nd in the recent Blatz & Bolitz 2000 & below and was the top Kiddie player in the 6th edition, CafÃ© Ligbeans Chess Team Championship.
This yearâ€™s CVIRAA player Hibaya, a 9-year old chess prodigy of Mayor Mario Pahang made her presence felt when she registered 5 wins, 1 draw, and 3 losses. Her last round assignment against Joshua Villaran of Alimayo Elementary School was a won game but her flag dropped first, that cost her a spot in the magic circle of top ten out of 114 participants all over Visayas region.
Tubigonâ€™s chess wonder & HNUâ€™s Reishi Boy Polan placed 15th overall out of 117 participants in the Juniors Division while DCPNHSâ€™ Marc Bryan Villarojo occupied the 20th spot. Both scored 6.0 points after they lost their final games against University of Cebuâ€™s Duanne Borgonia and University of San Carlosâ€™ Jeffu Dorog respectively. Dimiaoâ€™s Jayneil Yabo landed in the 31st spotwith 5.5 pts. He, too was defeated by CPUâ€™s Fiona Guirhem in his final encounter. Other finishers were Mcjeiger Balista of Dimiao (70th); Calapeâ€™s Jimilee Montecalvo (77th); Almedyn Monzolin of Looc, Panglao (94th).
In the Senior Division, HNUâ€™s Kowloon Sit of Cabad, Balilihan was the best finisher out of 6 Boholanos who were able to join the most awaited chess tournament with 50% performance, an improvement from her previous output in last yearâ€™s edition. Kow-Kow, as she is fondly called by her peers had two winning games but lost by time forfeit. She placed 36th overall while Maribojocâ€™s Dunhill Goudin was at the 38th spot with 4.5 points. Catigbianâ€™s Gladys Joy Balduman and San Miguelâ€™s Jhunrey Alimpolos settled at 41st and 47th out of 71 participants with 4.0 points while newcomer Roxanne Gumapac of Sagbayan placed 54th with 3.5 points.
74th seed Genesis Borromeo of Diaz College topped the Juniors Division with 8.0 points while Negros Oriental State University Adrian Dela Cruz of Sibulan, Negros Oriental grabbed the Seniors Division title with a higher tie break points against Cebu Cityâ€™s Jethro Esplanada and Feliz Shaun Balbon.
â€œIn behalf of the group, we would like to express our sincerest gratitude for those who believed in our skills, prayed and supported us for our chess cause by extending financial assistance especially to our beloved Governor, Atty. Edgar M. Chatto, to former Provincial Administrator Atty. Antonio â€œJunâ€ Amora, chess fanatics; retired DepEd employee Rufo Castro, Moy-Moy Longjas &Â Red Crossâ€™ Jay Quimson for our boat fare and to CENTCOM Commander Lt. General Nick Vivar for providing us a pleasant stay at the Transient Officers Quarters (TOQ) inside Camp Lapu-Lapu and the service vehicle driven by Sgt. Jun Villanueva.â€ said BAYCE President and Head Coach Stella Marie T. Celada. She was assisted by UBâ€™s top lady player Nelissa Lopecillo. (Renzkie Ligan)