NCR aces head cast in Shell chess final
(The Philippine Star) - September 15, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - NCR leg winners Marc Labog, Julius Gonzales and Jerome Aragones banner a big 48-player field bracing for a battle royale in the 2015 Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship national finals slated Sept. 19-20 at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

The best and the brightest after the three-month long, five-leg regional circuit sponsored by Shell for the 23rd year will try to outwit each other in the upcoming grand finals with so much at stake for the country’s current and future chess stars.

Labog, an Adamson University standout, topped the seniors division of the NCR leg and towed second placer McDominique Lagula of San Beda and National University’s Antonio Almodal to the national finals where they will slug it out for top honors, prizes and bragging rights with other top finishers of the Visayas, Northern and Southern Mindanao and Southern Luzon legs.

They include Visayas topnotcher Adrian dela Cruz of Negros Oriental State U, and No. 2 Jethro Esplanada of University of San Jose-Recoletos, Northern Mindanao winner Allan Pason of USJ-Recoletos and second placer Univ. of Cebu’s Diego Abraham Claro, and Southern Mindanao champion John Ray Batucan of Univ. of Mindanao and No. 2 Kenneth Norman Honculada of Ateneo de Cagayan-Xavier U and Batangas leg No. 1 Ricardo Batcho of City Univ. of Pasay and second placer Vince Medina of National U.

Only the NCR leg has three representatives in each category to the national finals with the rest of the regional elims sending only their top two players in the grand championship of the event, legacy project of Shell, a leader in gas technology and smarter mobility in the Philippines.

What makes this year’s finals different from the past staging is that it features three divisions, including the juniors and kiddies sections while awarding a slot for the top female player in each category of each regional elims of the event sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.

Heading the juniors cast are NCR leg top three Julius Gonzales of La Salle Green Hills, College of St. Benilde Daryl Samantila and National University’s Dennis Gutierrez Jr., Visayas stage winner Genesis Borromeo of Diaz College and Cris Pondoyo of University of Cebu, Northern Mindanao’s Tristan Ibaoc of Corpus Cristi HS-CDO and No. 2 Ahmad Ali Azote of Agusan National High; Southern Mindanao leg No. 1 Adrian Yulo of Ateneo de Cagayan-Xavier U and No. 2 Joel Gimony of Jose Maria College - Davao City and Southern Luzon stage top two Dale Bernardo of FEU and NU’s Jayson Danday.

Focus will also be on the kiddies side with NCR topnotchers Jerome Aragones of Statefield School – Bacoor, Cavite, Daniel Quizon of San Juan Elementary Schooland Justine Mordido of CAA Elem. School disputing the title with Philgymn Villajuan of Brgy. Legaspi Elem. School and Adrian de Luna of Sta. Barbara Central School (Visayas), Samuel Ventanilla of Villarica Elem School and Clyde Saraos of Bobontugan Elem School (Northern Mindanao), Ronald Canino of Little Me Academy and Chris Sarchez of Koronadal National Comprehensive HS (Southern Mindanao) and Dennis Gutierrez III of Immaculate Concepcion-Malolos and Mark Jay Bacojo of Escuela de Sto. Rosario (Southern Luzon).

Keen competition is also seen in the battle for the top female honors with Adamson’s Crissa Cañada, USC’s Airene Robillos and USJR’s Robina Padro, and Dhona Yngayo of Univ. of Mindanao and UP’s Arvie Lozano in the seniors division; Jesca Docena of Wesleyan College of Manila, USC’s Laila Nadera, Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High Schools Vanessa Magno, Frince Ezra Ocliasa of Mati School of Arts and Trade and UST’s Charlotte Paez in the juniors section; and Rheam de Guzman of Mary Margaret School, Marian Calimbo of Malabuyoc, Cebu Elem School, Lorebina Carrasco of West City Central, Irish Yngayo of Davao Central College and Jasmine Balabbo of Manuel Roxas High-Manila.

Since 1992, Shell has set out to engage the minds of Filipino youth through chess tournaments open to Filipino students under 20 years old and held in strategically located sites nationwide. To date, tens of thousands of youngsters have been motivated and credit chess playing as an activity that has positively contributed to enriching their lives.

Other backers of the event are Shell FuelSave Gasoline and Diesel, Shell Helix Oil Change Plus, Shell Fuel Oil Plus, Shell V-Power Nitro+ and Shell Advance Ultra, as well as by Unilever and SM Supermalls.

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