Chrisus Joshua S. Sarchez: Rising Davao chess star

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Saturday, November 12, 2011


COMING home from a strong third finish in the Pace-NCFP Age-Group Chess Championships in Tanauan City, Batangas recently was the greatest achievement of Chrisus Joshua Suscano Sarchez.

It happened to be the first-ever national competition of this eight-year-old wonder from Catalunan Pequeño.

"I really did my best in every game. I am very happy that I brought my city a trophy from that national event and was able to qualify for the Singapore tournament next month," the Grade 3 student of Mindanao Christian Foundation College and Seminary said.

The top three placers in every age group of the Pace-NCFP chessfest earned automatic slots for the Singapore joust but only the champions will be funded by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP).

Financial constraints, however, will foil Joshua's international debut as his parents could not afford to send him to Singapore.

Joshua said, "Maybe next time, in God's calendar, I can bring my country honor."

This son of a teacher and pastor started playing chess at age five with his twin brother Chrisus Joseph. Their parents inspired them to try out the sport and ended up hooked in pushing pieces.

"My father was the one who searched the internet about chess clubs in Davao City. He found out the Blue Knight Chess Club of Mr. Ronnie Tabudlong. We then became members of the club up to the present," Joshua shared.

His parents manage the time of the twins who have to play at least two games of chess after lunch. They also play with other classmates when there is more time left during their breaks. He also plays chess cube on Facebook during afternoons then he does his homework and reviews his lessons after dinner.

He said, "My parents taught me how to manage my time and how to become a disciplined chess player. I was taught what my priorities are. I balance my time in studying and training yet it's difficult at times. I thank God though because I still manage to be an honor student in class."

Joshua first competed in the Bob Bula Tournament at Lachmi complex in February 2009 where he was named youngest player. A month later, he saw action in the JEWM-RRD Age-Group Chess Championships at the Gaisano Mall of Davao where he and Joseph placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

He finished 56th among 500 kids who joined the 2009 Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship Mindanao leg. He got his first gold medal at last during the Pahalipay sa Pasko ni Mayor Inday Sara and Vice Mayor Rody Duterte Chess Tournament at Gaisano South Grand Citimall before 2009 ended.

Since then, Joshua collected a handful of titles. He topped the boys eight-under event of the 2010 Regional Age-Group Chess Championship at GS and Daprisa 2010 team championship. He was board 2 champion of the 2010 JVR Inter-School Invitational Chess Team Championship and emerged elementary boys champion of the 2011 Daprisa Chess Tournament.

He also ruled his event in the 2011 PACE-NCFP Age-Group Chess Championship regional eliminations at NCCC Mall of Davao.

Joshua dreams of being a member of the national chess team and represent the country in international competitions. His greatest dream though is to win a world championship and be like his idol Super Grand Master Wesley So who is among the youngest GMs in the world.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on November 13, 2011.

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