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48 Finalists Gear Up For Shell National Chess Crowns

Forty-eight players, who emerged from the tough nationwide eliminations in the last four months, will slug it out for top honours in the juniors and kiddies divisions at the 2010 Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship (Shell Active Chess) grand finals on Oct. 23-24 at SM Megamall’s Event Center in Mandaluyong City.

Vince Angelo Medina hopes to complete his leap from a kiddies titlist to a juniors champion as he slugs it out with 23 others for the crown in the premier 20-and-under category of the nine-round finals sponsored by Pilipinas Shell.

Medina topped the 14-and-under category in runaway fashion last year and went on to rule the juniors division of the Tuguegarao leg last July to clinch a spot in this year’s national finals of the Shell Active Chess Programme. He is one of the eight crack FEU bets vying for the titles in both categories although a host of others, including those from San Sebastian (SSC), La Salle, Rizal Technological University (RTU) and University of San Jose-Recoletos and Univ. of San Carlos-Cebu (USC) will be out to foil his bid.

Mari Joseph Turqueza, winner of the NCR elims, heads La Salle’s bid while Kristian Paulo Cristobal and Richelieu Salcedo III banner the title campaign of SSC and RTU in the premier division of the event sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.

The provincial leg winners are also expected to contend for the crown, including Iloilo elims champion Douglas Perez of John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation-Bacolod, Cebu elims topnotcher Yves Fiel of USC-Cebu, Cagayan de Oro leg winner Jerwell Andoy of Jose Maria College-Davao and Philip Leyson of Central Mindanao Colleges, who ruled the Davao elims.

Also in the fold are second and third placers including Sheider Nebato and Adrian Perez (NCR), Kevin Mirano and McDominique Lagula (Tuguegarao), Jayson Mercado and Alfredo Rapanot (Batangas), Lennon Hart Salgados and Kritz Albelar (Naga), Michael Ocido and John Michael Silvederio (Iloilo), King James Torres and Bernardo Ruelo Jr. (Cebu), Antonio Chavez Jr. and Rolly Parondo Jr. (Cagayan de Oro), and Jester Andoy and Erwin Tubog Jr. (Davao).

NCR champion Jerad Docena, also of FEU, leads the kiddies finalists, who include leg winners 8-year-old Stephen Rome Pangilinan, Paul Robert Evangelista, Jose Carlo Castro, Lyster Franz Andador, Allan Pason, Felix Shaun Balbona and Austin Jacob Literatus.

Completing the 14-and-under cast are Melwyn Kenneth Baltazar, Giovanni Mejia, Marc Labog, Paul Casiano, Felipe Magdalaga, Christian Nañola, Davemar Prado, Jhoemar Mendiogarin, Lanz Otero, Alson Vincent Lim Jr., Tristan Ibaoc, Jazzelle Villarin (this year’s only female finalist), John Ray Batucan, Kyle Sevillano, Cydric Dadole and Raymondwil Mirantes.

Shell Active Chess is an annual program organized by Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation. This year, some 4,000 players took part in the eight-leg circuit. The program supports the empowerment of the youth as part of the company’s overall Sustainable Development commitment. Shell Active Chess is held in partnership with SM Supermalls, Cagayan Colleges Tuguegarao, Central Philippine University Iloilo, University of San Carlos Cebu and Cagayan de Oro City Tourism, co-sponsored by Shell V-Power, Shellane, Shell Helix, and McDonald's.

Through the years, Shell Active Chess has produced world-class chess players. Among them is GM Wesley So, who dominated in early 2000s, won the Shell Battle of Champions in 2007 tournament and went on to become not only the country’s current top player but also one of the world’s youngest GMs.