Far Eastern University's Jose Carlo Castro and Gladys Hazelle Romero dominated the centerpiece events of the 2013 National Age-group Chess Championships held at the Pangasinan Training and Development Center in Lingayen, Pangasinan.
Castro, a third year high school student of FEU-FERN in Quezon City halved the point with Prince Mark Aquino in the fifth round then defeated teammate Dave Patrick Dulay in the final round battle to claim the Boys Under-20 division with five points unheard of defeat.
Romero, a College chess varsitarian of FEU-Manila on the other hand started with four straight wins before drawing her last two games with Jean Karen Enriquez in round five and Brena Mae Membrere en route to winning the Girls Under-20 title undefeated.
Other winners in this 6-round Swiss System tourney organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) with the support of Congressman Neri Colmenares and sponsored by Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel include: Antonio Almodal III (Boys U-16), Eric Robert Yap (Boys U-14), Emmanuel Van Paler (Boys U-12), John Ruiz Bravo (Boys U-10), Darwin Villanueva Jr. (Boys U-8), Merlene Membrere (Girls U-16), Samantha Glo Revita (Girls U-14), Holythurs Mariel Pangan (Girls U-12), Ma. Elayza Villa (Girls U-10) and Jocelyn Reyes (Girls U-8) who topped their respective categories.
Meanwhile Rafael Howard Baraan, Provincial Administrator of Pangasinan in his closing remarks once again welcomes the guests and participants to revisit the province of Pangasinan and 'feel at home'. He then showed with pride a power point presentation of the accomplishments and major development of Pangasinan under the leadership of Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. vowing to support chess projects undertaken by NCFP. The audience feeling the kindness and careof host Pangasinan returned the favor by a big round of applause.
NCFP's Chairman Prospero Pichay in his message praised the' Pangasinan team' led by Gov. Espino, Administrator Baraan and Sports Consultant Modesto Operania for the very successful staging of the event. He mentioned of the 100 percent support provided by the province to the chess sport. "A first class venue with free accommodation like this one in is all we need to organize big tournaments. We hope Pangasinan will host one big international event in the days to come", Pichay said.
A Visayan parent who participated in three other legs said that the Pangasinan event is simply "the best".
The province of Pangasinan is noted for its solid support to chess by providing year-round activities such as Bangus Chess Festival, Pista'y Dayat Chess Open, Pangasinan Age-group Chess, Pangasinan Non-Master Open and the regular Chess clinics conducted by the Pangasinan Chess League headed by Juan Vicente Sison.