I'VE written about the exploits of her elder sister Nikki and cousin Irish in May, it's about time that Dhona T. Yngayo also gets space for her achievements as a chess player.

Dhona helped pocket the girls under-14 standard and blitz team silver medals in the just-concluded 2010 Asean + Age-Group Chess Championships held in Subic Freeport, Olongapo City.

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The 12-year-old player from Toril also salvaged an individual bronze in blitz event for Team Philippines.

The Doña Carmen Denia National High School (DCNHS) sophomore earlier hoped to win a title in her first-ever Asean stint. But bringing home a couple of silvers and a bronze was not so bad after all.

"I've trained hard for the tournament and I thank my coach Henry Fajardo for helping me in my preparations and my family for their support," Dhona told sportswriters before she left for Subic with the rest of the Davao City players.

She booked slot in Asean event after bagging a bronze in the National Age-Group Chess Championships held at the NCCC Mall in Maa.

She said, "Winning three medals for my country was very special for me. It was indeed an honor to represent the Philippines in the Asean meet."

Dhona, was born to parents Eric and Anacita on August 7, 1997. Her father is a foreman while her mother manages their household.

The Doña Carmen Denia National High School (DCNHS) sophomore shared, "My father inspired me to get into chess when I was nine years old. The rest of our family also supported me."

She said playing chess and being good at it could give her a varsity scholarship in college just like her Ate Nikki who just joined the Far Eastern University (FEU) at the start of the academic year.

"I may be serious in my training but I also take my schooling seriously. I make my assignments first before I train," she said.

Dhona emerged champion in her competition debut -- the Metro Toril Chess Club Kiddies Tournament.

In 2007, she became a District Meet champion booking her a slot in the Unit Meet where she also stamped her rivals for the top spot. Dhona, however, failed to keep her winning streak but instead helped her team salvage a silver in the Davao City Athletic Association (DCAA) Meet.

She tried her luck in her first national stint in the 2007 National Age-Group Chess Championships in Mandaluyong and got a bronze.

She defended her District and Unit Meet titles the next year and took and then took an individual bronze in the DCAA Meet.

She won a gold medal at last in the 2008 Davao Region Athletic Association (Davraa) Meet chess competition in Panabo City. But she settled for a bronze in the 2008 Palarong Pambansa in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

Dhona's Palaro finish earned her a scholarship from the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation (Pagcor). Thus, she has to maintain good grades to keep the scholarship.

She also said that being a Woman World Chess champion is her greatest dream.

"I want to follow the footsteps of Judit Polgar someday," she added.

Hungarian Polgar achieved a GM title in 1991 when she was 15 years old and four months.

But just like her Ate Nikki, Dhona is also a great fan of the late World chess champion Robert James "Bobby" Fischer. (MLSA)