CEBUANO chess champions Jave Mareck Peteros and CM Jerish John Velarde lived up to expectations as they won the gold medal in their respective category in the 2019 National Youth and School Chess Championships Visayas Qualifying Leg in Bacolod City over the weekend.
Peteros, the top board player of the University of San Carlos-Basic Education Department finished with 5.5 points in the U15 category while Velarde, who is considered as the most promising chess player of Cebu and the ace player of Marie Ernestine School, won the U13 after finishing with 5.5 points.
Peteros, the top seed in his category, started off on a wrong foot as he lost his first-round match to Karl Patrick Bardinas of San Enrique, Negros Occidental. However, Peteros collected five straights wins before the draw with Tyrone Dale Yao of Bacolod Tay Tung High School in the final round, earned him the championship trophy.
Fortunately, Bardinas did not sustain his winning ways as he bowed to Neil Vincent Cena in Round 3 and drew with Ice Amier Uychiat (Round 4) and Lawrence Anthony Paradela in Round 7 to settle with the silver medal with 5.0 points.
The top-ranked in the U13 competition Velarde, on the other hand, finished his campaign also with five wins, one loss and a draw.
He lost to Dwayne Pahaganas of Escalante City in Round 4 and drew with Marc Benedict Caleon of Bulacan City on the seventh round. He tied with Christian Pelione of Bacolod City with 5.5 points. But Velarde’s win over the eventual silver medallist on the second round was more than enough to hand the Lapu-Lapu City chess phenom with the gold medal.
Velarde defeated Shawn Agustine Paril, Pelione, Andrei Iory Salvador, lost to Pahaganas, trounced Michael Jan Stephen Inigo and Jhurell Rodjun Ferrer and drew with Caleon on his way to the top of the podium.
The other Cebuano players who will join Peteros and Velarde to the National Finals in May in Manila were Blair John Serbise who placed second in the Girls U9 category and Justin Luis Joseph who placed 3rd in the Boys U11 division.
The National Finals is a qualifying tournament for the Eastern Asia Youth Chess Championships that will be held in Bangkok, Thailand on August 1-10 2019.