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Newly minted National Master Keith Adriane Ilar confirmed that, at the age of 12, he is already the top junior chess player in Northern Mindanao.
Becoming the youngest male chess master in the region after topping the recent National Age-Group tourney in Dipolog City, the fast-rising Ilar dominated the combined elementary and high school division in this month’s edition of Golden Chess Friends. tourney that came out in Cagayan de Oro City for the second time.
Called “GCF VIII-1st Cong. Jose Manuel ‘Joeman’ Alba FIDE Rated Chess Cup 2023” and uniquely held at the New Building of Sumilao Municipal Hall in Bukidnon last Sunday, the seven-round Rapid event was won by the pride of El Salvador City Ilar in style.
In doing so, the elementary six-grader created five consecutive wins to make a “prove yourself” challenge against two senior high school opponents in the last two rounds.
Against graduated Corpus Christi stalwart David Rey Ancheta, who is a former National Shell Active kiddies chess champion and Palarong Pambansa campaigner, Ilar prevailed in a complex middlegame that was rewarded with several exchanges later.
In the seventh and final round, Ilar defeated Ashlanie Pandi of Liceo de Cagayan University to claim the P5,000 top purse and the championship trophy undefeated.
“Fast growth to the child. No ma deny that he is really one of you full-pledged chess master,” said Misamis Oriental scout and trainer Johnnel Balquin about Ilar, who was actually born in Don Carlos, Bukidnon before his parents moved to El Salvador City.
Ancheta’s six-point output was copied by compatriot Jan Calvin Abesamis of Oro, LJ Getubig of Tagoloan, Nathan Segara of Davao City and Lila Alyssa Seriña of Cagayan de Oro.
JC Abesamis, who is still in elementary school but only managed one point when he blanked John Chon Tambeling in the final round, and 12-year-old Seriña, another newly crowned Woman National Master, are outstanding. , who recently competed in Thailand.
Facing the older Sara Dalagan at the start of the day’s tournament, Seriña skillfully maneuvered her King into the right squares with every move in the end game she made to Zugzwang the opponent’s White King. , and won a seemingly drawish position where both players were left with three pawns each.
Defending GCF high school champion Karl Augusto Xander Sayson from Gingoog City was defeated by Ancheta in the final round but took seventh place with a better tiebreak result against fellow 5.5-pointers Ace Joshua Caralde, Juan Ryu Bagonoc, Joel Lawrence Hoy, Pandi and Lyn Getubig who shared eight to 13th place out of 159 participants.
GCF organizer Benoni Wabe promised to help him bring the youth chess tourney to Talakag, Bukidnon.
“While let’s do it every year this is it EVENTS on Sumilao, this is also our i– part invest in Municipality of Talakag through our good friend in Mayor Vergito Factura because this is good diversion of children who are addicted to ML and lato-lato these days,” Alba said jokingly during the closing ceremony.
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