GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The favorites lived up to chess expectations dominating their respective divisions after the third round of action at the National age-group chess championships held at Robinson's Place here, Friday.
Nephtali Batucan of Davao city and Michael Gastala of South Cotabato made it three wins in a row to lead four other chessers in the Boys under 20 categories, while Alberto Diolola of host Gen San and Eugene Jauhart Ambor of Midsayap, North Cotabato shows the way also with perfect points in Boys 16 and 14 under.
Sharing the limelight are Gen San's Jerome Kent Masong of Gen San and Jerish John Velarde of Lapu-Lapu City who stay undefeated toting 3 points each in the Boys U10 and U8 divisions.
The race however, remains tight in the Boys U12 under where Jeremy Pepito of Cebu city, Chris Aldritz Pondoyo, Charles Faith Ayon and Yeongsa Aparte all of Gen San amassed 2.5 points each to share the lead going into the fourth round of grueling chess competition.
In the Girls section, Rose Irene Aldovino of Bukidnon and Exiquila Apao of Davao city lead the 20 under category with 2.5 points each.
Solo leaders with 3 points each in their respective groups are: Zsuzsa Grace Tabudlong of Davao city (U16), Honey Grace Buenafe of Panabo city (GU14), Allaney Jia Doroy of Agusan del Norte (GU12), and Meann Joy Baclayon of Misamis Oriental(GU10). Joannah Love Marie Olay of Kidapawan city and Rhea Jane Canino of Misamis Oriental dominate the Girls under 8 with the same number of points.
The topnotchers in their respective categories will battle it out in the grand finals to choose the Philippine representative in the ASEAN Age-group plus to be held in Bangkok, Thailand in June.
Meanwhile the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NFP) headed by Chairman/President Prospero Pichay is grateful to the city government of General Santos and the Robinsons Place for hosting the Mindanao leg of the age-group chess competition.
Chairman Pichay also reiterated its goal to popularize the game of chess and provide nationwide chess education.
The NCFP thru Congressman Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna, the NCFP Vice-President for Visayas and Committee Chairman for Grassroots Development and Promotions donated thirty (30) pieces of brand new chess sets to the General Santos City Chess Club as part of its grassroots program. The chess sets were received by club president Fritz Baterna for its chess development in and outside the city. Other officers of the club include Oswaldo Ortiz-Vice President, Librado Caceres – Secretary, Marcelino Valdez Jr. - Treasurer, Javier Daggi – Auditor, Ferdinand Leysa – PIO, Elias Baguiran – Executive Director, Teofilo Perez – Arbiter, Alex Requiz – Youth Training Director, NM Apolinar Torrijos – GSC Coordinator and Luzvimi Entila – Consultant. The following serves as the advisers of the chess club: Atty. Tomas Falgui II, Dr. Crisanto Torrijos, Rodilyn Lacap and Manuel Betaizar.