STA.ROSA CITY, Laguna---Haince Patrick de Leon of Marist School Marikina, Dennis Gutierrez III of San Fabian, Pangasinan and Stephen Rome Pangilinan of San Jose Delmonte, Bulacan opened their campaign in the Boys Under 10 category with a big bang at the start of the Luzon leg of the 2012 National Age-Group Chess Championships on Friday (March 2) here at the 2nd floor Commercial Public Market in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna.
De Leon defeated Rodolfo Luis Alayo after 36 moves of Vienna Opening, Gutierrez subdued Mark Angelo Javier after 16 moves of Irregular Opening while Pangilinan defeated Charles Ablang after 15 moves of Bishop Opening to lead the march of the early winners in the event hosted by Sta. Rosa City government organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) headed by it's chairman/president Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr.
Other notable winners are Darwin Villanueva who beat Joshua Apalla after 44 moves of another Bishop Opening in the Boys Under 8 category; Rhean Arah de guzman who dealt Jocelyn Pineda after 46 moves of King's Pawn Game in the Girls Under 8 division.
Sharing the limelight are Iris May dela Cruz and May Cydel Fajardo who beat their respective rivals in the Girls 10 under bracket. dela Cruz nipped Chan Mi Lopez after 23 moves of Old Indian defense while Fajardo crushed Princess Hyun Lin Lopez after 34 moves of another Old Indian skirmish.
National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) Executive Director and Grandmaster (GM) Jayson Gonzales and Sta. Rosa bet Ruth de Guzman, Sta. Rosa Sports Director Dennis Aquino and Escalated City, Negros Occidental representative Alekhine Nouri ushered the opening twin ceremonial moves. Witnessing the twin ceremonial move are national arbiter Alberto Julian, national master Edmundo Gatus, International arbiter Gene Poliarco and NCFP Region 4a coordinator Dr. Alfredo Paez.
The tournament, open to all youth chess players aged twenty years old and below, will be divided into following categories: 20 years & below (boys and girls); 16 years & below (boys and girls); 14 years & below (boys & girls); 12 years & below (boys and girls); 10 years & below (boys and girls); and 8 years & below (boys and girls) will be played in a six to seven rounds Swiss system competition.
All category champions of the event shall earn the right to represent the Philippines in the forthcoming 2012 ASEAN+ Age-Group chess championships to be held in Hue, Vietnam on June 10-20, 2012, while the top five players in each category shall advance to the grand finals of the 2012 National Age-Group to be held in Tanauan City, Batangas on April 23 – 30, 2012, together with the qualifiers from Visayas and Mindanao legs.
The grand final winners shall earn the right to represent the Philippines in the 2012 Asian Youth championships to be held in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, the Luzon leg of the 2012 National Junior Championships will also be held at the same venue starting March 6, 2012.