THE quiet City of El Salvador, Misamis Oriental has started making a buzz in chess, and promising toddler Andry James Sabella is one of the reasons behind its fast-gaining chess development.
In the Parents Chess Club’s inaugural tourney for 2019, Sabella snapped the winning streak of the country girl wonder Ruelle “Tawing” Canino en route in bagging the elementary chess crown of the rapid chess fest on February 23 at the City Mall in Barangay Iponan, Cagayan de Oro City.
Handling the white pieces, Sabella impressively outplayed Canino in a King's Pawn opening to finish the day-long event in a five-way logjam with Canino, Joseph Alexis dela Rama, Santiago Lumancas IV and Samantha Irish Balquin at 5 points each.
Sabella of Bolisong Elementary School, however, prevailed in the Bucholz tiebreak to bring home the P2,300 top purse plus medal.
Canino of Kauswagan Elementary School, the City Mall's inaugural champion of the “Kuya Kap” inter-school tournament and triple-gold medalist in the 2019 Batang Pinoy Mindanao leg qualifier, settled for the runner-up prize of P1,800.
Dela Rama of City Central School, Lumancas of Lumbia Elementary School and Balquin of City Central School shared third to fifth places. They received P600, P400 and P300, respectively, also with medals.
“Canino had beaten Sabella in the first City Mall chessfest, then si Sabella na pud ang midaug sa ilang rematch sa (then Sabella won in their rematch at) Parents Chess Club. It was such a welcome development, matawag nga ga-uswag ang chess development sa atong dapit (chess is developing in our city),” said arbiter Lorenzo “Jun” Cuizon, who credited coach Tino Salbsab, Engr. Jun Gunayan and fellow chess trainers Renan Cantilado and Paciano Gulle for putting El Salvador in the chess map of Northern Mindanao.
Completing the top-13 kiddie performers of the Parents Chess Club tourney, which enjoys the support of National Master Roly Tan, were Keith Adriane Ilar, Honey Jane Salabsab, Makainah Romulo, Ralph Lawrence Labradores, Ray Villanueva, Lawrence Raphael Lawan, Quarl Maverick Vera Cruz and Rowella Mariel Regatuna, all tied at 4 points apiece.