MANILA, Philippines – International Master (IM) Jan Emmanuel Garcia and National Master (NM) Alcon John Datu got off to blazing starts after posting opening round victories in the Standard division of the 14th ASEAN + Age Group Chess Championships.
Garcia defeated CM Huynh Lam Binh Nguyen of Vietnam, while Datu beat Tran Quang Khai of Vietnam over the weekend at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Meanwhile, Fide Master (FM) Haridas Pascua split the point Nguyen Duc Viet, also of Vietnam, in the Open Under-20 division of the tournament.
National Chess Federation of the Philippines chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr. expressed his confidence that the Philippine team will perform well in the Standard event.
“Kumpiyansa tayo na maganda ang magiging performance ng mga players natin sa Standard competition, at sana mahigitan natin ang 57 medals na nanapalunan natin last year,” Pichay said.
The Philippines won a total of 57 medals (12 golds, 36 silvers and 9 bronzes) in the Standard, Rapid and Blitz competitions and finished second over-all in last year’s edition of the tournament, held in Hue, Vietnam.
At the conclusion of the Rapid and Blitz competitions in the 2013 tournament, the Philippine team has won 14 golds, 11 silvers and four bronze medals, according to Philippine head coach IM Yves Ranola.
Meanwhile, in other results, IM-elect Janelle Mae Frayna defeated FM Nominerdene Davaadembrel, while FM Marie Antoinette San Diego lost to IM Hoang Thi Nuy of Vietnam. NM Jan Jodilyn Fronda also lost to Patricks Anastasia of Indonesia in the Girls Under-20 bracket.
In the Open Under-16 division, FM Paulo Bersamina defeated Ding Tze How Dilwen of Malaysia, while IM-candidate Jerad Docena beat Kanav Gupta of India, and NM Giovanni Mejia subdued Nguyen Tri Thien of Vietnam.
In the Girls Under-16 bracket, Shania Mae Mendoza toppled Ee Sun-Xin of Malaysia, and Ella Grace Moulic beat fellow Filipina Ynna Sophia Canape.
In the Open Under-14 division, Daryl Unix Samantila beat compatriot John Merill Jacutina, while Carl Terrence Valdellon routed Rudolph Lau of Singapore. John Marvin Miciano lost to Vietnam’s Nguyen Dang Hong Phuc of Vietnam, however.
In the Girls Under-14 bracket, Samantha Glo Revita beat Rosamund Koo of Malaysia, while May Ann Alcantara drew with Tran Phan Bao Khan of Vietnam. Alexis Anne Osena also drew with Tran Ngoc Minh Tuong of Vietnam.
The country’s campaign in the tournament is supported by the NCFP, the Philippine Sports Commission, and the Philippine Olympic Committee. — By Marlon Bernardino