Youngsters’ quest

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Monday, June 2, 2014


THE Philippines’ youngest hopeful to earn a master title, Jerish John Velarde, and four other Cebuano chess players will start their campaign in the 2014 Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) Plus Age-Group Chess Championship in Macau.

The seven-year-old Grade 1 student of Lapu-Lapu Central Elementary School, who won two golds and a silver medal in last year’s edition in Thailand, is again hoping to give glory to the country and get a Fide Master title once the competition is over on June 12.

“We are thankful for Mayor Paz Radaza for the support she has given to Jerish. It’s a big thing na na-recognize sa (local) government ang effort sa bata. We are also thankful to his coach IM Kim Steven Yap sa Cebu School of Chess, who has done a lot in the improvement of his game,” his proud father John Velarde told Sun.Star Cebu.

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Before they left yesterday for Macau, the young Velarde got another ticket to an international tournament after winning the 2014 Asian Youth Selection tournament U8 Boys division title last Saturday in PSC Hall in Manila.

Velarde allowed only a draw in six matches to finish with 5.5 points for his ticket to the Asian Youth Chess Championship 2014 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on June 20-29.

Aside from Velarde, Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano is also seeking a Fide Master title as the country’s no.1 representative in the U16 competition.

First time international competitor Cassey Manlosa of San Fernando, Cebu is also competing in the Girls U8 competition, Danao City’s Alphecca Gonzales will be playing in the Girls U10 tournament and Glesit Marie Tatoy will join the Girls U12 tournament.

“According to his first coach Peterson Sia, he has yet to meet a protégé who is a very fast learner. IM Yap is also very impressed of him because he can remember their previous lessons. In his first international tournament last year, he already won gold medals and a silver at the age of six. I am very optimistic of our chances in Macau,” said Velarde.

A total of 36 players have registered in the U8 competition including non-Asean country players from India, China, Mongolia, Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, host Macau and Kazakhstan. (RCM)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 03, 2014.

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