Pascua banners field in National Age-Group Chess Championships

PANGASINAN pride FIDE Master Haridas Pascua and a bevy of national and candidate masters from all over the Philippines headline the Luzon leg of the 2012 National Age-Group Chess Championships beginning tomorrow at the 2nd floor of Sta. Rosa Commercial Complex, Public Market, in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna.

The Luzon leg of the National Junior Championships will unfold after the age-group competition.

Sta. Rosa City Mayor Arlene B. Arcillas, City Sports Coordinator Dennis Aquino and other city officials will lead the opening ceremony at 9 a.m.

Expected to grace the occasion are National Chess Federation (NCFP) President/Chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay, Jr., NCFP Secretary General and Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham Tolentino and NCFP Executive Director Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales.

The national age-group will be divided into following categories: Under-20 (boys and girls); Under-16 (boys and girls); Under-14 (boys and girls); Under-12 (boys and girls); Under-10 (boys and girls); and Under-8 (boys and girls).

The players will play in a six- or seven-round Swiss System tournament depending on the volume of participants in a given category.

Aside from Pascua, also expected to contend in the premiere BU-20 are National Master Alcon John Datu from Caloocan City, Lennon Hart Salgados from Cagayan de Oro, Jan Francis Mirano from Aklan and Jan Nigel Galan from Valenzuela City.

The favorites in the GU-20 are Woman FIDE Master Cherry Ann Mejia, Woman National Master Jedara Docena from Bohol, WNM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, Nikki Erica Yngayo from Davao, Gladys Hazelle Romero from Batangas, Carol Ann Chua from Cagayan de Oro and Enrica Villa from Marikina. Reigning national girls champion WNM Janelle Mae Frayna from Bicol will play in GU-16.

All category champions of the event will represent the country in the 2012 ASEAN+ Age-Group Chess Championships in Hue, Vietnam on June 10-20 while the top five players in each category will advance to the grand finals of the 2012 National Age-Group in Tanauan City, Batangas on April 23-30 together with the qualifiers from Visayas and Mindanao legs.

The grand final winners will represent the country in the 2012 Asian Youth Championships in Sri Lanka.

The boys and girls champion in the national juniors will compete in the World Junior Championships in Athens, Greece. Noli Cruz

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