Joseph, Velarde dominate divisions

LAPU-LAPU City’s chess prodigy Jerish John Velarde and the University of San Carlos-Basic Education Department rising ace Justin Luis Joseph swept their divisions in the 2020 National Age GRoup Chess Championships-Visayas Leg at the SM Seaside City on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020.

Velarde of Marie Ernestine School finished the tournament with a perfect score of 7.0 points after seven rounds. He beat Ian Gabriel Rusiana, Pete Xander Ganzon and Neilstin Gallenero in the first three rounds, followed with wins over Mikhail Gabriel Alcala, Christine Pelione, Aaron John Resma and Richvil Prince Mella in the fourth to seventh rounds.

Gallenero came up with 5.5 points for second place, while Lennox Samson had 5.0 points to complete the podium finishers in the Under-14 Open division.

In the Under-12 Open, Joseph had a similar feat as he swept all seven games to win the crown. He defeated Gabriel Dion Gamale, John Carl Bongcahig, John Tayner Valero, Charlemagne Romanillos, Mark Alfonso Azaola, Jude Lorenzo Aranaydo and Jecuambs Cuambot.

Ghian Michael Alegria finished second with 5.5 points and Romanillos was third with 5.0 points

Chris Aldritz Pondoyo captured the Under-20 crown after scoring 5.5 points in the three-day tournament sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.

Pondoyo outsmarted Teodor Francis Mangubat, Romeo Canino, Jizon Fritz Bermudez and Duane Borgonia. He ended up with a draw against Gemmuel Claro, Francis Xavier Guimalan and Adrian Basilgo.

Ronald Canino of Cagayan de Oro City won the Under-18 Open crown after scoring 5.5 points from four wins and three draws. He beat Vic Gyles Derotas in the opening round and settled for a draw with Reishi Boy Polan and Rogel Nino Panilagao in the next two rounds.

He then beat Juan Carlos Baculio, Dandreb Bugais and Christian James Aquino. The other draw was against Cyril Felrod Telesforo in the fifth round.

Meanwhile, Jasper Faeldonia topped the Under-16 open division. He scored 5.5 points from four wins and three draws. He beat Sean Misal, Lynell Henri Jumao-as, Euneil Grant Capilitan and Arje Villarin.

The top three chess wizards in every category will advance to the National Age Group Chess Championships Grand Finals in Manila. (RSC)