Filipino chessers off to good start in Singapore

SINGAPORE – The father and son tandem of FIDE Master Hamed and Alekhine Nouri extended their Christmas celebration here with similar convincing victories in the Singapore International Chess Festival.

The elder Hamed trounced Sitorus Sangga in the 8th Singapore Open while his little boy defeated Alexander Chan in the Open Under-8 division of the 2nd Singapore International Youth Championships late Monday (December 26) at the Jurong East Sports Complex.

Grandmaster Richard Bitoon also shared the spotlight by winning his opening match in the 2nd ASEAN Men Campomanes Cup. The pride of Cebu manhandled International Master Kevin Goh to join fellow GMs Susanto Megaranto and Sang Cao on top.

But the day, make that the tournament in general, clearly belongs to the youth.

The Filipinos made a good account of themselves in the eight age divisions slated in the week-long event.

Vince Angelo Medina downed Ryan Chin and Marc Christian Nazario toppled Azhar Muhammad Syakir Shazmeer in the Open U-17; FIDE Master Paulo Bersamina got the better of Jarrel Bin and Jerad Docena won over Han Tong Joon in the Open U-14; Woman FIDE Master Marie Antoinette San Diego scalped Freya Ho in the Girls U-14; Daniel John Lemi thrashed Lew Zhi Hong, Emanuel Van Paler beat Bhaven Jay Shah, Istraelito Rilloraza outwitted Abhimanyu Anna, Joshua Tan clobbered Keven Yong Jun Chua

Julius Gonzales subdued Zhou Zhiangheng in the Open U-11; Ronald Canino nipped Cyrus Nisban in the Open U-8; and Me Ann Joy Baclayon crushed Cleo Ng and Jerly Mae San Diego topped Janice Choy in the Girls U-8.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines chairman/president Prospero “Butch” Pichay lauded the effort of the country’s rising chess stars.

“Kahit kakatapos pa lang ng Pasko diretso pa rin sa pagpupursige ang mga batang players natin para maging mabigyan ng karangalan ang ating bansa,” Pichay said. “Sa ipinapakita nilang magandang attitude, sigurado ako na malayo ang mararating nila.”

The other Filipino winners were Alex Milagrosa and Roberto Suelo, Jr. in the Open.

Milagrosa took the measure of John Lee while Suelo outmaneuvered Srivatanakul Pricha.

Unrated Jelvis Calvelo joined the party by holding Malaysia’s national champion Lim Zhuo Ren into a draw.


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