AUSTIN Jacob Literatus and Irish Yngayo were not only two Dabawenyos who brought home medals for Team Philippines in the recently-concluded 16th Asean+ Age-Group Chess Championships held in Singapore, Davao City-born John Marvin Miciano also helped the country's boys under-16 team to clinch a team silver medal.

"In this year's Asean tournament, I played in under-16 years old category where players are really very good. I am only 14 years old and in the lower age bracket this year. I will still be playing in under 16 next year," he said.

John graduated at the Ateneo de Davao University Grade School in 2013 and was scouted by La Salle Greenhills in 2013 and became its scholar. He played in the NCAA last season representing La Salle Juniors and won a gold medal in board 2.

An incoming Grade 10 student, John just transferred to Far Eastern University (FEU) Diliman so he can give more time for chess trainings and tournaments.

"Hopefully, I'll play for FEU in the next UAAP season," he said in a Facebook interview yesterday.

He is being trained by seasoned grand master (GM) Richard Bitoon and JedaraDocena.

He thanked North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou "Lala" Taliño for sponsoring his expenses in training and stint for the Asean+ tournament. North Cotabato is the home province of his grandparents.

In the 15th edition of the chessfest in Macua last year, John hauled an individual silver and team silver in the standard category and bronzes in individual and team rapid and team blitz events.

"I think Macau was my best Asean performance because I got five medals including two individual silvers and one individual bronze," John said.

Studying in Manila indeed opened many doors for him and his sport.

"In Manila, tournaments are more competitive and more frequent. I think my games matured and a lot better. I really have to balance my studies and chess though," he said.

John, however, admitted that he misses Davao particularly tuna, durian and fruits

But he said, "With my parents' support. It's easier for me to adjust here."

He looks forward to compete in more tournaments and improve more on his game.