FIDE Master Haridas Pascua and Woman National Master Jedara Docena topped their respective divisions to earn the right of representing the country in the 2012 World Junior Chess Championships in Athens, Greece.
Pascua, a sophomore in University of Baguio, clinched the title when he beat Chester Jason Coquilla of Cagayan De Oro in the penultimate round. He finished with 29 points on nine wins, two draws and one defeat.
It was the fifth title in a row for the in-form 18-year-old Pangasinense. He won three straight local titles in Pangasinan and an open tournament just before the start of the 2012 National Age Group and National Juniors Chess Championships at the Event Center in Tanauan, Batangas.
Docena, who hails from Bohol, tallied 23 points to edge last year’s champion WNM Janelle Mae Frayna of Legaspi in the women’s junior by a single point.
National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) chairman/president Prospero “Butch” Pichay lauded the performance of Pascua and Docena.
“Both players were on top of their games right now. They lead their respective from start to finish,” Pichay noted. “They deserve to don the country’s colors in the world juniors.”
The effort of the man who made the tournament possible also get a much-deserved praise from Pichay.
“Chess is very lucky to have a guy like Atty. Ruel Canobas. We share the same vision of making more chess masters from the grassroots level,” said Pichay.
Canobas, head of the NCFP grassroots program and manager of the Philippine chess team, was elated by the turnout.
“It’s very satisfying to see young players from Northern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao converge in one place to showcase their talent,” Canobas said.
Definitely satisfied with their performance were the winners in the age group competitions. They were Mc Dominique Lagula of Nueva Vizcaya (boys under-20); Austin Jacob Literatus of Davao (BU-16); Daryl Unix Samantila of Tonsuya, Malabon (BU-14); Daniel John Lemi of Vigan, Ilocos Sur (BU-12); Stephen Rome Pangilinan of Manila (BU-10); Justin Mordido of Las Pinas (BU-8); Woman FIDE Master Marie Antoinette San Diego of Cavite (girls under-20); Shania Mae Mendoza of Sta. Rosa (GU-14); Bernadette Galas of Makati (GU-16); Vic Glysen Derotas of Cebu (GU-12) and Methusellah Ramos of Cebu (GU-8).
The age group winners will represent the country in the 2012 Asian Youth Championships in Sri Lanka.