CAGAYAN de Oro's valiant Knight Lennon Hart Salgados never missed his target in the Queen City of the South.
Now, the equally-talented Ibaoc brothers (Keith Duval and Tristan Frech) try to sustain the winning tradition as the 18th Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship Central Visayas Leg-Cebu opens Saturday at the University of San Carlos-North Campus Gymnasium.
"We just pray for their success. Dako ilang chance nga ma-hurdle ang challenge in Cebu," said Woman National Master Cecile Gaburno Cuizon, a one-time Olympian, who was instrumental in the Ibaocs' formative years in chess.
Accompanied by their parents and personal coach Candidate Master Lyndon Lumancas, the 15-year-old Keith vies for a national slot in the junior division (20 and below). While the 12-year-old Tristan, qualifier in the ASEAN chess for the last consecutive years, is among the early favorites in the kiddies (14-under) rivalry.
Already, the 16-year-old Salgados (now with FEU Tamaraws) -- who, in the past, qualified for at least four times in a row via the Visayas leg -- made it to the Shell Finals after finishing in a tie for first place with Misamis Oriental compatriot Richelieu "Jongjong" Salcedo III during the Naga leg.
Alfredo Rapanot (also with FEU), was the first qualifier from Cagayan de Oro in this year's nationwide eliminations after finishing third during the Batangas leg. (LLS)