Last August 27-30, 2009 the National Chess Federation of the Philippines held the 2nd National Age Group competitions at Victory Mall in Caloocan City to pick out the country’s representatives to the World Youth Chess Championship to be held in Antalya, Turkey on November 11-23, 2009. Representatives coming from Adamson University’s Basic Education Department (BED) were among those who won in the tournament and two students subsequently qualified for the world championship.
Jean Karen Enriquez, a high school freshman, scored four wins and three draws to stay undefeated and earn 5.5 points in the girls’ 14-under division. Her win makes her the country’s representative in the girls’ 14-under division in Turkey. In the boys division, fifth grader Daryl Unix Samantila placed second in the 10-under division with four wins, two draws, and one defeat to secure an alternate spot in the Philippine team’s 10-under division.
Other students who competed at the tournament were sophomore Tyrone Delos Santos, fourth runner-up in the boys’ 18-under division; seniors Ali Guya (second runner-up, boys’ 18-under), Jessie Abucejo (third runner-up, boys’ 16-under), and Steven James Dacanay (second runner-up, boys’ 16-under); and junior Timothy John So Kua, fourth runner-up in the boys’ 16-under division also.
The chess team underwent rigorous training for the national tourney and continues to do so in preparation for the World Youth Chess Championship. Coach Christopher Rodriguez motivates his players by letting them play blitz games to develop their reflexes every Saturday and Sunday at the SV Hall. No weekends are wasted, though, as the players themselves take on their coach for more practice sessions. Niko Angelo Mendoza