CEBUANO wood pushers struggled in the first three rounds of the 25th Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship National Finals held at the SM Mega Mall Event Center in Mandaluyong City yesterday.
Kiddies top finisher Jerish John Velarde, who started as a fourth seed, dropped to six place after losing his first round assignment to Cyrhea Ruth Atog of Immaculate Heart of Mary Academy of Mati City, Davao Oriental.
However, the Marie Ernestine School chess whiz bounced back and defeated his next two opponents, Jeraian Cagang of Guiwanon Elementary School of Ginatillan, Cebu in Round 2 and Cedric Kahliel Abris of Don Bosco Mandaluyong in Round 3 to earn his second full point.
Leading the pack was Wesley Jovan Magbanua of Jose Maria College of Davao City, who was the only player in the 12-year-old and under category to own a perfect score at 3.0 points.
In the Juniors Division, Cris Aldritz Pondoyo of the University of Cebu only had one win after three games to sink to the ninth place after three assignments.
Pondoyo opened his campaign on a bright note, beating Kurt John Placencia of Davao City National High School outright in the opening round but faltered on his next assignments that included topseed Fide Master Stephen Rome Pangilinan of Philippine Science High School in round 2 and Cyril Felrod Telesforo of the Central Philippine University of Iloilo City in Round 3.
He is hoping to get back on the winning track as he faced Carl Jaedrianne Ancheta of Arellano University in Round 4.
In the Seniors division, Jethro Esplanada of the University of San Jose-Recoletos is hoping stay afloat as he stayed unbeaten through three rounds following his wins over Romulo Curioso of the Lyceum of the Philippines University, Jeth Romy Morado of Far Eastern University and Darry Bernardo also of FEU in his first three assignments. (RCM)