LINGAYEN, Pangasinan , Philippines – Veteran internationalist Samantha Glo Revita of host Pangasinan checkmated Jee-Ann Faye Barry of Baguio to rule the girls’ individual rapid chess and finish with four gold medals at the close of the Northern Luzon qualifier of the Batang Pinoy Games at the Narciso Ramos Sports Complex here yesterday.
The 13-year-old Revita, who won gold medals in competitions in Indonesia, China, Turkey, Thailand and Vietnam, employed the Sicilian Sveshnikov Variation to seize a two-pawn, bishop advantage and win by a checkmate.
The end came when Revita, who was slowed down by an opening round draw, used his two-pawn battering ram to force Barry, unbeaten in five matches going into this round, to place his king in the corner where it got checkmated. The win catapulted Revita from second to first with 5.5 points.
Revita, a double-gold medallist in last May’s Palarong Pambansa also staged here, thus emerged the best performer in chess after she also topped the individual standard and blitz events and led Pangasinan’s blitz team also composed of Macydel Fajardo and Regyne Palaming to gold.
The freshman Rosales National High School, an hour and a half by bus from this coastal town, had a chance to go home with six gold medals and join the elite club that included tankers Jamleth Villanueva of Olongapo City, Gwyneth Amber Cawaling of La Union and Jenkins Labao of Baguio City.
But Revita, who has trained under Olympiad veteran Grandmaster Oliver Barbosa for a year now, settled for silver medals in the team rapid and standard events after Baguio City found a way to snatch the mints in the two events.
“I’ve been taught tactics by my coach (Barbosa) and I’ve applied them in this tournament,” said Revita, who was taught the game by her father, geodetic engineer Sammy, at three years old after she saw her sister Ria, three years older than her, playing it.
“I’m happy taking home four gold medals,” she added.
Pangasinan also struck in karatedo after John Enrico Vasquez snared three golds and John Matthew Manantan and Gilbert Arellano copped two apiece in the sport where the host province hauled a whopping 15.
Vasquez defeated Narayana Mesina of Pangasinan in the boys -39kg kumite after winning the individual and team kata with Arellano and Mesina late Friday. Arellano also won the -35kg individual kata.
Manantan followed up his golden feat in the kata with a victory in the boys -63 kumite while karatekas Arianne Isabel Yu Brito (girls -39kg), Znargie Maye Juguilion (girls -43kg), Kristelle Ira Zabala (girls -47kg) and Janna Angeles (girls -54kg) also contributed to Pangasinan’s success.
Other winners for the host province were Jude Uson (boys -35kg), John Jerick Obra (boys -49kg) and John Marc Claveria (boys -58kg) in the kumite and Aldrin Christian Yu Brito (boys-35kg) and Zabala (girls -47kg) scored victories in the advanced kata.
In baseball, which hosted the national finals here, Tarlac flattened Manila, 19-9, thanks to 11 runs in the last three innings that zapped the fight out of the Big City bets, who were just trailing by just a run before that home run binge.
Pangasinan trailed Baguio City the other day after the country’s summer capital struck hard in taekwondo and swimming but the hosts recovered quickly, finishing the talent discovery program for athletes 15 years old and below with 70 gold, 86 silver and 80 bronze medals.
The City of Pines, which had eight victories in arnis but could only muster two in karatedo, collected 65 gold, 56 silver and 48 bronze medals while Malolos, Bulacan placed third with a 16-11-10 haul.
Malolos drew strength from swimming and badminton courtesy of boys’ singles champion John Matthew Bernardo, Paola Beatriz Bernardo (girls singles) and the duo of Chanel Lunod and Paola Bernardo in girls doubles.