Philippine chessers bag 4 golds in Singapore
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
6:49 pm | Sunday, January 1st, 2012

The Philippines struck for four gold medals on top of a silver and four bronzes in the Singapore International Chess Festival at the Jurong East Sports Complex Sunday.

Winning for the PH squad were Michelle Yaon in the girls’ Under-17 division, Vince Angelo Medina in the Open Under-17, Fide Master Paulo Bersamina in the Open Under-14 and Dennis Gutierrez III in the Open Under-8.

“It’s a good sign for our young chess players,” said Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr., president of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines. “They showed that we can compete and win in international competitions.”

Yaon, a promising find from Calamba City and a student of St. Simon Montessori School, split the point with India’s G Sushmitha in the final game to win the title with 6.5 points in eight games .

Medina, a student of Far Eastern University-Fern topped his division after a final draw with Jodi Setyaki Azarya of Indonesia while Bersamina capped a dominant performance with a victory over Ooi Zhi Yang Singapore to wind up with 8.0 points.

Gutierrez, a San Fabian, Pangasinan standout, beat Jiddan Firman of Indonesia to clinch the gold also with 8.0 points.

Bohol bet Jerad Docena clinched the country’s lone silver by finishing second behind Bersamina.

Delivering bronze medals were Marc Christian Nazario (Open U-17) Julius Gonzales (Open U-11), Iloilo’s Fiona Geeweneth Guirhem (Girls U-11) and Misamis Oriental’s Mae Ann Joy Baclayon (Girls U-8 ).

Woman Fide Master Marie Antoinette San Diego, an early favorite in the Girls’ U-14, was a big disappointment, however, as she finished with only 5.0 points in the nine-round event.

San Diego wound up two points behind eventual champion WFM Najiha Hisham Nur of Singapore and half a point behind compatriot Shania Mae Mendoza.

Bitoon 2nd in Campomanes Cup

Meanwhile, Grandmaster Richard Bitoon finished tied for second in the second Asean Men Campomanes Cup also in Singapore.

Bitoon wound up tied with GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia and Internatioal Master Nguyen Van Huy of Vietnam with 6.0 points, just half a point behind champion GM Cao Sangâ of Vietnam.


Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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