THE Canino siblings will lead the so-called “Magic 9” of Cagayan de Oro-Misamis Oriental’s campaign in the 19th Asean Age Group Chess Championship to be held for the first time in Davao City on June 17 to 27.
Former Asean gold medalist Ruelle Canino of Kauswagan Elementary School will try a gold repeat in Girls 10-under class. While her older brother Ronald Canino of MOGCHS will do battle in the Boys 16-under category.
CdeO-Misor’s other bets are Maria Teresa Lumancas of City Central School and LJ Getubig of Misamis Oriental (both in Girls Under 8), Lorebina Carrasco II of Corpus Christi School ((Girls 14U), Mary Joy Tan of Jasaan and Krezyl Ibañez of Camiguin (both in Girls 16U), David Rey Ancheta of Corpus Christi School (Boys U12) and Clyde Harris Saraos of Jasaan (Boys U14).
They all qualified in the country’s qualifier for the Asean chessfest all landing in the top-3 of their respective age brackets with the youngest and newcomer Maria Teresa Lumancas even emerging as solo champion in the 8-under girls bracket.
Three more Corpus Christi standouts in Charles Bruce Gabing, Euneil Capilitan and Richilly Evan Cuizon failed to qualify and thus, missed the all-expense paid trip benefits afforded to the top-three finishers among the locals. But still, their parents have decided to spend their own for another try in the Asean challenge.
“Gamay lang ilang kulang nga mag qualify so, naa may counterpart nga sponsor molahos na lang sa Davao kay at least, dire ra sa Pilipinas dili ra kayo madak-an sa gasto,” Gabing’s mother told SunStar Cagayan de Oro.
It’s the Philippines’ first hosting of the Asean Age Group Chess Championship.
The country is also looking to take another overall crown after winning 83 golds 37 silver, and 29 bronze medals in last year’s edition of the Asean tourney in Pahang, Malaysia.
Around 500 chess players from 10 countries are expected to vie for honors in 14 age-group divisions in the juniors division, and two in the seniors division.
“I believe we can defend our title even if we expect more participants this year,” said National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president Prospero Pichay in a recent press conference held in Davao.
Tournament director James Infiesto said the Fide Master (FM) and International Master (IM) titles will be up for grabs for the Asean champions.
Philippine Sports Commission commissioner Charles Maxey said the event can expect of the PSC’s full backing especially with Davao hosting it under Martial Law.
“This only goes to show that despite the area being under Martial Law, peace reigns in Mindanao and that we can use sports to promote peace,” said Maxey. (With NCFP reports)