CEBU City, Philippines – Candidate master Jerish John Velarde again delivered a precious gift for Lapu-Lapu City on the eve of its 58th Charter Day Celebration by winning a gold medal in the 20th ASEAN + Age Group Chess Championship in Myanmar.
Velarde along with other Filipino players Mark Jay Bacojo and Chester Neil Reyes formed a formidable trio as Team Philippines stole the gold medal away from the powerhouse Vietnam squad of Tre Kien Le, CM Qouc Hy Nguyen, and Pham Thien Phuc Vo after a 9-Round Swiss System 14-under Open Standard competition.
Philippines and Vietnam finished on top with 20.0 per points but the Filipinos earned a higher Buchholz Median tiebreaker points to cart away the gold medal. Bacojo who finished the tournament with 7.5 points won the individual gold medal while Le and Nguyen settled for the silver and bronze medal respectively after finishing with 7.0 points each.
Reyes meanwhile had 6.5 points and Velarde finished with 6.0. Velarde who is a Grade 7 student of Marie Ernestine School of Lapu-Lapu City had five wins, two draws and two losses in the weeklong tournament that started last June 10. Velarde who started as 7th seed, won his final two rounds over third seed Myat Aung Kyaw of host Myanmar in Round 8 and against Zin Hein Kant also of Myanmar in the final round that pulled him up to the 9th place finish, and proved to be beneficial for the Philippine’s Boys 14-under team golden finish.
Cebuana Vic Glysen Derotas, who hails from Brgy. Apas in Cebu City, and is now studying in Nazareth School of National University in Sampaloc, Manila brought home the gold medal in the Girls 18-under standard competition after finishing with 7.5 points through 9 Rounds.
Also winning gold medals for the Philippines in the Standard competitions were Eric Labug Jr. who scored 6.5 points in the Open 18-under category, Alexander Milagrosa who ruled the Senior 50 competition and Cesar Caturla who went undefeated in 9 Rounds to claim the Senior 65 contest.
The gold medal winners for the Philippines in the Rapid competition were Bacojo in the Open 14-under, Christian Mark Daluz for the Open 18-under tilt, John Marx Anastacio for the Open 30 class, Francois Marie Magpily in the Girls U-18 category, GM Jayson Gonzales in the Seniors 50 class and Caturla for the Seniors 65 division./RCM