Adamson University’s young chess wizard Daryl Unix Samantila narrowly missed the championship in the nine-round Swiss system Philippine Academy for Chess Excellence (PACE) grand finals held on November 27 and 28 at the PACE headquarters in Quezon City. The 11-year-old Samantila competed in the 16-and-under age category where he was tied at the top spot with 13-year-old Jerad Docena, a high school student at the Far Eastern University-Nicanor Reyes Educational Foundation (FEU-FERN). He scored 7.5 (seven wins, one draw, one loss) out of nine in the field of 67 but had to settle for first runner-up due to his lower tiebreak scores.
Samantila, the youngest among the leg champions in the event, bested junior varsity players and pre-tournament favourites from FEU-FERN, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, La Salle Greenhills, and San Beda College. Rigorous training with the Adamson varsity players under Coach Christopher Rodriguez helped him get on top of the competition.
With a perfect score of 5.0, Samantila also captured an individual gold and a team silver medal at the chess tournament (elementary boys’ division) of the Palarong Maynila held at the Manila Science High School last November 22 to 25. His victories earned him the right to represent Manila in the NCR meet scheduled for early next year.
The sixth-grader’s recent international exposure in the 4th Asean Primary School Sports Olympiad brought pride to the Philippines when he took home an individual silver and a team bronze medal in the boys’ individual and team blitz event, defeating players coming from Southeast Asia. The Olympiad was held last November 4 to 10 at the Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Philippines also participated in athletics, badminton, football, and table tennis but it was only in chess that the country was able to win medals, and it was only this year that the country was able to bag medals. His trip to the Olympiad was sponsored by Prof. Maria Luisa Isip, officer-in-charge of Adamson’s Office for Athletics and Recreation, and Malabon City Rep. Jaye Lacson-Noel