TWELVE-YEAR-OLD Dabawenya Samantha Umayan upset top ranked players as she went on to win the women’s division runner-up honors of the just-concluded 2019 National Chess Championships semi-final round in Malvar, Batangas.
The 15th-seeded Far Eastern University eighth grader drew with top seed woman fide master (WFM) Allaney Jia Doroy in the fourth round after shocking second seed woman candidate master (WCM) Mira Mirano in the third, fourth seed Natori Biazza Diaz and eighth seed Manilyn Cabungcag.
Umayan, who edged two other six-pointers Mirano and Ruth Joy Vinuya via superior tiebreaks in the nine-round Swiss System format chessfest topped by Doroy who made eight points, said she defeated higher rated chessers in the endgame. Mirano and Vinuya placed third and fourth, respectively.
“Na-challenge po ako sa lahat ng round pero mas na-challenge po ako nung last round kasi po kailangan kong manalo,” she told SunStar Davao in a Facebook interview Tuesday, July 2. She last played and beat Mary Ann Alcantara in the ninth and final round.
She, however, is not going to be complacent. “Masaya po ngunit dapat mas mag-aral pa dahil mas mabibigat pa po yung makakalaban ko sa finals,” she added.
While she used to dominate local, regional and national age-group competitions, she dared play against older and more experienced lady woodpushers. She recently brought home three silver medals in the 29th Asean+ Age-Group Chess Championships 2019 held last June in Mandalay, Myanmar.
Playing in the 2019 National Chess Championships semi-final, according to her, was a step closer to her great dream.
“Kasi po yung mananalo may chance na irepresent ang team PH sa Olympiad,” she said, pertaining to the national finals where she will advance.
The 44th World Chess Olympiad is set in Russia this year.
Umayan will next compete in the Eastern Asia Youth Championships in Bangkok, Thailand in August.