MANILA, Philippines – Fide Master (FM) Haridas Pascua defeated Joey Albert Florendo to jumpstart his campaign in the National Junior Chess Championships grand finals at the Event Center in Tanauan, Batangas last Monday.
Joining Pascua in the win column were Vince Angelo Medina, Franz Robert Grafil, Joel Pimentel Jr., and Baltazar Rafales.
Medina toppled Trista Frech Ibaoc; Grafil downed Jan Francis Mirano; Pimentel trashed Alcon John Datu; and Rafales defeated Chester Jason Coquilla.
Reigning junior boys champion and National Master (NM) Mari Joseph Turqueza settled for a draw opposite Jose Carlo Castor, while FM Paulo Bersamina had a bye.
Women’s national master (WNM) Janelle Mae Frayna, meantime, had little trouble kicking off her bid for a second straight junior girls’ title.
Frayna defeated Adelaide Joie Lim to lead four other winners in their division. Also winning their opening matches were WNM Jedera Docena, WNM Jan Jodily Fronda, Loraine Salinas and Carol Anne Chua.
The national junior champions will represent the country in the 2012 World Junior Chess Championships in Athens, Greece.
The favorites also stamped their class in the grand finals of the National Age Group Championships.
Marc Christian Nazario, Lennon Hart Salgados, McDominique Lagula and Alexis Emil Maribao won their first round matches in the Boys Under-20.
WFM Marie Antoinette San Diego, Nikki Erika Yngayo and siblings Akiko Charmaine and Mikee Charlene Suede led the winners in the Girls Under-20.
The other fancied players to win in the opening round were Jerad Docena in the Boys U-16; Romeo Canino in the Boys U-12; Dennis Gutierrez III in the Boys U-10; Michelle Yaon in the Girls U-16; Samantha Glo Revita in the Girls U-14; MeAnn Joy Baclayon in the Girls U-10.
The category winners in the age group competition will represent the country in the 2012 Asian Youth Championships in Sri Lanka. -- By Marlon Bernardino.