Daryl Unix Samantila, an Adamsonian 4th Grader, recently created a buzz in the 9th ASEAN Age Group Chess Championship last June 9 to 18 in Danang, Vietnam. He won the Silver Medal in the Rapid Chess and Blitz Chess events and the Bronze in the Standard Chess category, besting other contenders his age and even older. Upon returning home, he garnered more honors. He was ranked 28th out of 285 participants in the 16th Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship held last June 21 and 28, 2008 at SM Manila. In the Magnolia Chess Tournament last July 5 at the Don Bosco Chess Club, he was Top Kiddie in the 14 years old Category.
Young Samantila’s first venture into chess tourneys began in April 2007 in the Milo Checkmate where he battled experienced challengers.
“Before I attack, I focus on the positioning first,” Daryl says. The 9-year-old chess whiz shared that his strategies and techniques include London Style, Torre Attack, Caro-Kann, and King’s Indian. Amazingly, young Daryl is aware and capable of annotating his own plays. Still, he credits his coach, Christopher Rodriguez, for rigorously training and keeping an eye on him. When asked who his influences and favorite chess players are, he said that “I look up to Wesley So and G.M. Paragua.” Both are Filipino chess masters.
Daryl is the son of Reynaldo, an electronics technician, and Dina, a business analyst from ABS-CBN. They are both supportive of his exceptional gift. “I tried to divert his attention to playing chess instead of letting him burn time in front of PS2 and his computer. Children nowadays get distracted with all of these virtual games, and they sometimes fail to see the importance of getting into the real games,” the father explained.
Despite his demanding training and game schedules, Daryl still manages to be on the honors list of his class. “He was an honor student from Nursery to Grade 3,” proudly avers Reynaldo. He transferred his son from Republic Institute to Adamson University (after 3rd Grade) as his family knew that the University, particularly its Basic Education Department, would support and trust gifted children like Daryl. JCM