MASTERS Class Chess School, Cagayan de Oro's first ever sophisticated school for aspiring chess players, produced a champion in the recently-concluded Atty. Rufus B. Rodriguez Open Chess Tournament for Grade 1-3 level.
Lawrence Raphael Lawan of West City Central School actually finished in a tie with three others, Keith Adriane Ilar of El Salvador Central School, Karl Adrian Dalauta of Bulua Elementary School and Lara Dalagan of Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental at 5 points each. But Lawan prevailed in the Bucholz tiebreaker to claim the 1,500 top purse and the championship trophy.
Lawan and Dalagan were both pioneering students of the newly-established Masters Class Chess School bankrolled by National Master Roly Tan of Goldcrest Marketing Corporation and top billed by fellow masters Levi Mercado and Rustum Tolentino.
“We’re so glad that in just a few months nga nag-enroll ang mga bata sa Masters Class aduna na silay na-achieve. Lawan for one is a smart kid dugay ra unta nisaka kon aduna pay naka-guide sa chess in a professional way,” said Tolentino.
“I considered him (Lawan) as the most improved sa among mga estudyante, though we're expecting for more pa nga ma-develop basta makatultol lang sa Masters Class Chess School,” added Mercado.
Among Lawan's casualties were Alyana Gaid, Dalauta, Zhaoyu Capilitan, Roel Ian Jamisola and Ilar. His only defeat came from the hands of Zesley Galgao.
Front running Ilar, who yielded to Lawan in the final sixth round, won in succession against Jarnie Fabella, Dhen Carlo Dangcal, Jesheene Careras, Dalagan and Galgao.
Dalauta, who also bowed down to Lawan, defeated the likes of Vander Linondo, Kristine Igloria, Pacho, JB Pacampara and Galgao.
While Dalagan, whose only loss was inflicted by Ilar, counted Vea Jean Galgao, Joshua Labuyo, John Carlo Pacho, Jeneri Leonar and Maria Teresa Lumancas among her victims.
Ilar, Dalauta and Dalagan finished second, third and fourth with P1,000, P800 and P600 take-home also with trophies and medals.
LJ Getubig of Tagoloan and Capilitan of Mastersons Avenue both scored 4.5 points to occupy fifth and sixth, respectively, as Galgao, Jamisola, Lumancas and Jeelcris Emar completed the top-10 circle with 4 points each.
Former Congressman, lawyer Rufus Rodriguez awarded the cash prizes, trophies and medals to the winners in the company of Glen Escarda of the Parents Chess Club, Barangay 23 Kagawad Jaime Joshua Frias II and arbiter Jun Cuizon.