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La Salle-Greenhills’ Julius Gonzales hurdled his last two matches to hold off Chris Pondoyo and capture the juniors crown in the Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship grand finals at SM Megamall Event Center last Sunday.
John Ray Batucan repulsed Clyde Arellano with the black pieces in the eighth round and despite dropping his final game to Brylle Vinluan, the University of Mindanao’s standout still took the seniors plum.
But it was Daniel Quizon who turned in the best performance in the two-day finals that drew the best of the country’s top players in various age divisions, including in the female category, as the San Miguel, Elementary School in Dasmariñas, Cavite pride downed Adrian de Luna and Mark Bacojo in the last two rounds of the kiddies play to complete a rare sweep of the nine-round Swiss system tournament sponsored by Pilipinas Shell.
Sharing the spotlight were Jerlyn San Diego of First Uniting Christian School, also in Dasmariñas, Kylen Joy Mordido of Dasmariñas National High School and La Salle’s Rowelyn Joy Acedo, who nailed the crowns in the female category in the kiddies, juniors and seniors classes, respectively.
On hand during the closing rites were GM Darwin Laylo, a former Shell Active Chess finalist and coach of Ateneo, Gerboy Ortega, vice president for Human Resources of Shell, vice president for Manufacturing Edward Geuss, and Melanie Bularan, Social Investment and Social Performance manager, who handed the trophies and prizes to the winners.