National age group chess tilt unfolds in Mindanao

A TOTAL of 156 players from all over the country joined the Mindanao leg of the National Age Group Chess Championships that got underway with the opening ceremony on Saturday (March 24) at the Misamis Oriental Provincial Capitol Grounds in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental.

The opening of the event dubbed as 2012 Governor Oscar S. Moreno National Age Group Chess Championships coincided with the blessing of the newly renovated chess plaza, one of the biggest and grandest in the Philippines with covered marble chess tables and benches.

Mindanao is well-represented with players coming from Iligan, Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga, General Santos, Marawi and Davao City. There are also players from Cebu, Pangasinan, Aklan, Bohol, Nueva Vizcaya and the National Capital Region.

The competition is divided into six categories for both the boys and girls namely Under-20, Under-16, Under-14, Under-12, Under-10 and Under-8.

The category winners will represent the country in the 2012 ASEAN+ Age Group Chess Championships in Hue, Vietnam on June 20-20. The top five in every category will earn berths in the Grand Finals on April 23-31 in Tanauan, Batangas where the winners will represent the country in the Asian Youth Chess championships in Sri Lanka on June 24-July 4.

Misamis Oriental Chess Development Foundation President Memen Moreno welcomed the guests, saying that Gov. Moreno made certain that all out efforts were done to ensure the success of the event despite the limited time to prepare.

These efforts didn’t go unnoticed.

Most parents and kids were elated with the reception, particularly with the free hotel accommodation and transportation provided by the host.

“I think that this is the first time that we have been afforded this kind of hospitality, we have been joining lots of tournaments, but this is the first time that we were given free hotel accommodation and transport from the hotel to the venue.” said Board Member Ben Polao of Lanao del Sur, one of the parents accompanying their child in the tournament.

NCFP Executive Director Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales, who represented NCFP Chairman/President Prospero Pichay Jr., was all praises for the playing area.

“The chess plaza here is similar or maybe even better than those in the United States and Europe,” said Gonzales.
Meanwhile, registration is on-going for the 2012 Gov. Oscar S. Moreno Juniors Chess Championships slated on March 27-30 at the same venue.

For registration contact Memen Moreno at 0926-4091345, Domingo Oga at 09195695386, IA Gene Poliarco at 0923-7309445, IA Ilann Perez at 0949-1760889, FA Patrick Lee at 0927-7209260 or email Noli Cruz

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