Marc Christian Nazario and Enrica Villa dominated their respective divisions of the 2013 National Juniors Semi-Finals Chess Championship held at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium in Malolos City, Bulacan.
Nazario settled for a fighting draw in the last round with Lennon Hart Salgados to claim the title of the boys division of the tournament sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), through the undertaking of the Bayan Muna Party-list group and bankrolled by Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel.
Marc, the 3rd year student of UP-Diliman finished his campaign undefeated with four points the same output acquired by Paul Robert Evangelista but Nazario, the 'son of Malolos', was proclaimed champion due to much higher tie-break score.
Nazario's last round opponent, Salgados is a hard to beat chessplayer. He is the 2012 under 20 national age-group champion and a consistent winner in non-master tournaments. Both players are eager to win as shown by the first 10 moves of the game.
Nazario playing white moved his pawn to e4 and black replied Knight to f6. Salgados after a few moves sacrificed a pawn to equalize immediately and take the initiative. He regained the pawn with dividend by emerging a pawn up after a couple of exchanges. The 'extra pawn' did not last long; Nazario skillfully maneuvers his Rook to fork the two undefended pieces. He captured the pawn next move to gain material equality. Knowing his advantage was gone; Salgados offered a draw which Nazario has no reason to decline. They halved the point in only 26 moves.
Villa on the other hand, outplayed all his opponents from the opening to the last round en route to winning the crown in the girls division with a perfect 6-0 score.
Villa, a graduating student of the FEU-FERN in Quezon City uses his vast chess experiences to defeat everybody including Niña Anne Del Rosario in the final round. Enrica's kingside attack in their Dutch Opening encounter is too much for Del Rosario to handle. Villa won a piece in a middle game complication. Their game ended in 67 moves.
Meanwhile NCFP Chairman Prospero Pichay is well praised of the tournament location. A place that is well suited to the game of chess. He also thanked the friendly people and the provincial government of Bulacan for hosting such event. "We hope the province of Bulacan will continue to support our chess undertaking by providing us this first-class venue" he said, referring to the air-conditioned Malolos Capitol Gymnasium and the Kaban ng Hiyas Pavilion in Malolos City.
Chief Arbiter IA Gene Poliarco on his part announced that the top 16 in the boys division and the top 7 in the girls division advances to the finals on April 1-10 in Taguig City, Metro Manila.