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Pondoyo, Velarde win in Shell chess

Chris Pondoyo scored 2.5 points in the last three rounds then edged Cyril Telesforo in the tiebreak to snare the juniors crown while Jerish John Velarde and Allan Pason dominated their respective divisions in the 25th Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship-Visayas leg held at SM City Cebu last Sunday.

The top-ranked Pondoyo, a University of Cebu standout, stopped erstwhile unbeaten leader Fiona Guirhem in the seventh round then whipped Jeremy Tanudra in the eighth before halving the point with Telesforo in the final round to finish with 7.5 points.

Telesforo, from Central Phl University, also pooled 7.5 points with earlier victories over Jave Peteros and Alphecca Gonzales. But Pondoyo took home the crown on a superior tiebreak score, with Telesforo joining him in the national finals along with top female player Alphecca Gonzales of RMDFS-STEC who ended up with seven points in the 13-16 age category.

Velarde, on the other hand, sustained his hot start with a stronger finish in the kiddies class, beating Jeraian Cagang, John Belano and Sean Cogonon in the last three rounds as the Marie Ernestine School ace emerged the solo kiddies winner with 8.5 points.