INTERNATIONAL MASTER Jan Emmanuel Garcia of Manila and National Master Alcon John Datu of Caloocan City got off to a blazing start by posting victories in the opening round of the Standard chess competition of the 14th ASEAN + Age Group Chess Championships 2013 being held at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand, over the weekend.
Garcia defeated CM Huynh Lam Binh Nguyen of Vietnam while Datu beat Tran Quang Khai of Vietnam. Fide Master Haridas Pascua of Mangatarem,Pangasinan split the point with Nguyen Duc Viet of Vietnam in the Open Under-20 division.
National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) chairman/president Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr. expressed confidence that the Philippine age group chess team will perform well in the Standard event.
"Kumpiyansa po tayo na maganda ang magiging performance ng mga player natin sa Standard competition at sana mahigitan natin ang 57 medals na napanalunan natin sa last year edition na ginanap sa Hue, Vietnam," said Pichay also the treasurer of Philippine Olympic Committee.
Philippines won a total of 57 medals on account of 12 golds, 36 silvers and 9 bronze medals in the Standard, Rapid and Blitz competitions and finished second overall in the las year's edition of the 13th ASEAN+ Age-Group Chess Championships in Hue, Vietnam.
After the conclusion of the Rapid and Blitz competitions of the 14th ASEAN + Age Group Chess Championships 2013, Philippines won 14 golds, 11 silvers and 4 bronze medals according to Philippine Head Coach International Master Yves Ranola.
NCFP secretary general and Cavite 7th district Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino Jr. said the success of the young athletes once again proved chess's lofty record as certified achiever.
""Once again our flag has been raised in this foreign land after knowing that our Filipino kababayan won the coveted gold medals in the rapid and blitz competition," said Tolentino also Asian Zone 3.3 FIDE President.
In the Girls 20 and under bracket, WIM elect Janelle Mae Frayna of Legaspi City, Albay toppled WFM Nominerdene Davaademberel of Mongolia, however WFM Marie Antoinette San Diego of Dasmarinas, Cavite was yielded to WIM Hoang Thi Nhu Y of Vietnam as well WNM Jan Jodilyn Fronda of Manila was succumbed to Patricks Anastasia of Indonesia.
In the Open Under-16 division, Fide Master Paulo Bersamina of Pasay City nipped Ding Tze How Dilwen of Malaysia, IM candidate Jerad Docena of Bohol routed Kanav Gupta of India and National Master Giovanni Mejia of Labrador, Pangasinan subdued Nguyen Tri Thien of Vietnam.
In the Girls 16 and under bracket, Shania Mae Mendoza of Sta. Rosa, Laguna toppled Ee Sun-Xin of Malaysia and Ella Grace Moulic of Davao City edged countryman Ynna Sophia Canape of Marikina City.
In the Open Under-14 division, Daryl Unix Samantila of Tonsuya, Malabon dealt compatriot John Merill Jacutina of Caloocan City, Carl Terrence Valdellon of Pasig City crushed Rudolph Lau of Singapore but John Marvin Miciano of Davao City lost to Nguyen Dang Hong Phuc of Vietnam.
In the Girls 14 and under bracket, Samantha Glo Revita of Rosales, Pangasinan smashed Rosamund Koo of Malaysia, May Ann Alcantara of Calumpit, Bulacan drew with Tran Phan Bao Khanh of Vietnam as well Alexis Anne Osena halved the point with Tran Ngoc Minh Tuong of Vietnam.
Other Filipino bets first round winners are Istraelito Rilloraza of Las Pinas City (UO12), Bea Mendoza of Baguio City (G14), Daniel Quizon of Taytay, Rizal and Ronald Canino of Cagayn de Oro City (UO10), Checy Aliena Telesforo of Iloilo City, Mae Ann Joy Baclayon and Mary Joy Tan of Misamis Oriental (G10), Alekhine Nouri of Escalante City, Negros Occidental, Michael Concio Jr. of Sta. Rosa, Laguna and Jerish John Velarde of Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu (UO8).
The country's campaign in the tournament is supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC). The Philippine team was also backed by Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino. Delegation head is NCFP Executive Director grandmaster (GM) Jayson Gonzales.