BEATING bigger and much older rivals is a thing Cagayan de Oro’s 8-year-old chess whiz, Adrian Othniel Yulo had been doing lately.

The fast-learning Yulo, who is the youngest qualifier in the forthcoming Northern Mindanao Palarong Pampook chess competition, defeated more experienced players—one after the other—in the recently-concluded Xavier Engage Kiddies Chess Tournament held at Xavier University.

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In the last frame of the 5-round Swiss System tourney, the Grade 2 pupil of Xavier University Grade School (XUGS) outplayed with the black pieces his Grade 6 opponent from Corpus Christi School, Leuvin Paul Salgados en route to bagging the championship trophy in the 14-under class.

Yulo, who is looking for another surprise in the regional meet, registered a perfect 5 of 5 score to pocket the XU event’s P700 top purse plus trophy.

“The boy is really diligent in his ambitious quest to master the game. He patiently writes down the moves during practice and has the propensity to apply it in practical play with convincing results,” Yulo’s mentor Emmanuel Crisologo told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

At least four contestants were tied at 4 points. But after the complexity of the Bucholz tiebreak, Salgados, Harold Karl Taganas, Andrew Felisilda, Ian Bert Capricho, Christian Pabillore and Kennard Ibaoc occupied second to sixth places, respectively, with an equal prizes of P133 each.

Joining them in the top-10 are Justine Pineda, Ronald Canino and Diane Elizondo who got 3.5 points apiece.

In the 8-under category, Vanessa Magno also played through undefeated (5 of 5) to claim the championship crown.

Manolo de Leon logged in 4 points to pick the second prize as Juliet Pabillore and Jomare Parejo both managed 3.5 points to grab third and fourth places.

Completing the top-10 finishers are Camille Galiposo, Rusty Canino, Arshein Alloro, Ma. Venus Banaag, Isaiah Crisologo, Don Gabriel Banaag and Rowen Zulita. 

Tournament organizer Engineer Rogelio C. Golez Jr. and arbiter Lorenzo “Jun” Cuizon, meanwhile, named Canino and Pineda as youngest and top female participants. Yulo and XUGS compatriot Lloyd Anthony Neri were adjudged as top XU players.