One hundred sixty seven (167) players from different provinces such as Cebu, Negros Occidental, Leyte, and other areas as far as Zamboanga, Davao, Misamis Oriental, General Santos City and the National Capital Region were on hand to witness the Opening Ceremonies of the Visayas Leg of the 2012 National Age Group Chess Championships held on April 4, 2012 at the Gov. Corazon Cabagnot Training Center in Kalibo, Aklan.
The Tournament which is sponsored and hosted by the Province of Aklan, headed by Gov. Carlito S. Marquez, will determine the final cast of participants in the Grand Finals which will be held from April 23 – 30, 2012 in Tanauan, Batangas. Grand Finals Champions will represent the country in the ASIAN Youth Chess championships in Sri Lanka on June 24 –July 4, 2012.
Governor Marquez stated that “In behalf of the Province of Aklan, I welcome all the participants of this tournament. We are very pleased with the number of players who joSined, considering that a lot of them came from Mindanao and Luzon.”
This event, organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) headed by Prospero A. Pichay, is fully supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
Vying for outright slots in the delegation to the ASEAN+ Age Group Chess Championships in Hue, Vietnam are top contenders Joel Pimentel (U20) of St. Benilde Bacolod, Vince Angelo Medina (FEU U16), FM Paulo Bersamina (Pasay U14), Istraelito Rilloraza (Las Pinas O-U12), Dennis Gutierrez III (Pangasinan O-U10) and Alekhine Nouri (Negros Occidental O-U8) in the Open Division.
In the distaff side, a tight battle is expected in the Girls under-20 category between WNM Jan Jodilyn Fronda (La Salle- Manila), Mikee Charlene Suede (Univ. of the Philippines) and WFM Cherry Ann Mejia (La Salle). While Jean Karen Enriquez (Adamson) and Jazelle Villarin (Cebu) battle for the under 16 crown. Samantha Glo Revita (Pangasinan U-14), Fiona Geeweneth Guirhem (Iloilo U-12), and Cristine Delos Reyes (Misamis Oriental U-10) will likewise compete in their respective divisions.