JOSE Maria College(JMC) standout Honey Grace Buenafe aims to win her first gold medal in the 2016 Palarong Pambansa in Albay on April 10 to 16.
The 2016 Davraa Meet secondary girls blitz gold medalist Buenafe, who was seen playing blitz chess with a teammate during lunch break of the 2016 Southern Mindanao Private Schools Athletic Association (Prisaa) Meet chess competition at the University of Mindanao Tagum College (UMTC) campus recently, said, "Unta makagold nako sa Palaro karong tuiga (I hope to win a Palaro gold this year)."
The Dabawenya chesser, who also won a silver for Davao City in Davraa elementary girls standard event, said it will be her third time to compete in the Palarong Pambansa and she has yet to win a medal.
"Magpraktis jud ko aron mapangandaman nako ang Palaro. Pinakakusog sa mga rehiyon naman gud akong makalaban so kinahanglan jud mag double time sa training (I'll practice hard to prepare for the Palaro. I will be playing against the best players of other regions so I need to double time in training)," she said in an interview.
Buenafe is also competing in the upcoming National Age-Group Chess Championships in Pangasinan, adding, "Pang tune-up nalang pud nako ang national age-group kay halos makalaban nako ngadto sa U16 mao pud akong makaatbang sa Palaro (The national age-group will serve as my tune-up since most of those I will be playing there are the same ones I will be facing in the Palaro)."
She was supposed to compete in the 2016 Southern Mindanao Prisaa Meet in Tagum City but since there were no other High School entries from other delegations, she and her teammates will go straight to the 2016 National Prisaa Championships in Koronadal City on April 3 to 10.
Meanwhile, Davao City player Irish Yngayo, who pocketed two Davraa gold medals in elementary girls chess, will also advance to the Palaro. The Palaro veteran is expected to pull off a surprise in her final stint in the elementary division.