LOCAL prides Richelieu Salcedo III of Misamis Oriental and Lennon Hart Salgados of Cagayan de Oro take part in the Batangas leg of the National Shell Active Chess which opens today at the SM City Batangas' Event Center.

Both are raring to hurdle the southern Luzon eliminations after narrowly missing the national slots in the first two legs.

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The 18-year-old Salcedo, playing out of Rizal Technological University-Mandaluyong, placed fourth during the NCR (National Capital Region) leg. While the 16-year-old Salgados, a freshman of Far Eastern University (FEU), also did the same (4th place) in the succeeding Tuguegarao leg.

"Kon mahimo lang nga mag-qualify sa Luzon kay gasto na kaayo kon mobiyahe balik sa Mindanao," said Salgados, last year's NCR leg ruler and Shell Active's 2007 national kiddies champion.

Competition is expected to be fierce in the 14-and-under and 20-and-under age group categories with the top three in both divisions advancing to the national finals slated in October in Manila.