Jerish John Velarde the best Under 14 player at the 2020 National Age Group Chess Championships Visayas Leg

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu’s top age-group player CM Jerish John Velarde proved to be the best Under 14 player in the south as he topped his division unbeaten in seven rounds in the 2020 National Age Group Chess Championships Visayas Leg held at the SM Seaside Cube Side Atrium on Sunday, Jan. 5.

The 7th Grade student of Marie Ernestine School lived up to his billings as the toughest competitor of the 3-day event as he swept all his opponents for a ticket to national finals.

Coming in as the top seed in his category, Velarde was quick to impose his dominance over Ian Gabriel Rusiana in the opening round followed by victories over Pete Xander Ganzon, Neilstin Gallenero, Mikhail Gabriel Alcala, Christian Pelione and Aaron John Resma on the sixth round.

Velarde did not slow down as he completed the sweep with a masterful victory over Prince Richvil Mella of Tacloban City in the final round.


First for 2020. Candidate Master Jerish John Velarde of Marie Ernestine School of Lapu-Lapu City wins his first title of the year after sweeping the Under 14 Open division of the 2020 National Age Group Chess Championship at the SM City Seaside Cube Side Atrium.


Placing behind Velarde were Neilstin Gallenero (5.5 points), Lennox Samson (5.0), Gabriel Tito Oba-ob (5.0) and Aaron John Resma (4.5).

 Another Cebuano upcoming talent, Justin Luis Joseph topped the under 12 division after scoring a sweeping victory of his own.

The Joseph who started at 10th seed, worked his way up to win the title by beating 33rd seed Gabriel Dion Gamale on his first assignment, 27th seed John Carl Boncahig on the second, 47th seed John Tayner Valero on the third, 5th seed Charlemagne Romanillos on the fourth round, 7th seed Mark Alfonso Azaola on the fifth round, 9th seed Jude Lorenzo Aranaydo on the sixth round and fellow Cebuano and eventual fourth placer Jecuambs Cuambot in the final round.

Winning behind Joseph were Ghian Michael Aleria (5.5pts), Charlemagne Romanillos (5.0), Cuambot (5.0) and Elijah Gabriel Santiago (5.0).

Another Cebuano winner is Chris Aldritz Pondoyo who topped the Under 18 division.

Pondoyo shared the top finish with Francis Xavier Guimalan of Davao City as they both finished the seven-round tournament with 5.0 points. However, the Cebuano prodigy has better tie breakpoints of 26.5 to Guimalan’s 25.0 to win the top honors

Placing behind Pondoyo and Guimalan were Cebuanos Adrian Basilgo (5.0 pts), Duane Borgonia and Najelle Sarvida (4.5).

 Another Cebuano talent Jave Mareck Peteros, on the other hand, rallied from fifth place entering the final round to salvage a second-place finish in the under 16 division.

Peteros who had five wins and two loses in the competition won the first two matches over Johnmarie Josef Lu and Richard Gohetia Jr. before losing to John Lance Valencia on the third won against Jesusito Tatoy Jr., lost to Jervy Villarin on the fifth and defeated Clyde Harris Saraos and Maximus Benedict Serbise on the last two rounds settled with the silver medal to Jasper Faeldonia of Romblon who finished the 7-Round Swiss System competition with 5.5 points.

 Peteros tied with Jacint Louie Lumangcas, Valencia, John Lester Belano and Jervy Villarin with 5.0 points at the end of the competition.

However, Peteros topped the second tie break method variable which stipulates the greater number of victories.

Peteros had five wins to his credit landed at the second place while Lumangcas who had four wins, two draws and a loss settled for third place. Valencia, Belano and Villarin had three wins each. But Valencia had the best Buchholz tie breakpoints with 29.0 settled for fourth place, Belano with 28.0 at fifth place and Villarin landed at sixth place with 27.5 points.

In the girls’ division, Regina Catherine Quinanola topped the Girls under 16 class after finishing with 6.0 points, third seed Kristina Concepcion Belano stole the under 12 girls title from top seed Ruelle Canino of Cagayan de Oro City after finishing with 6.0 points in the 7-rounds competition.

A total of 336 young chess players mostly coming from Visayas and Mindanao participated in the 3-day event organized by the Cebu Chess Society, National Chess Federation of the Philippines in coordination with the Cebu City Government and SM Seaside.

Here are the complete top 3 winners in each category:


Under 8

1.   John Curt Valencia

2.    Aldrin Bernardo

3.   Shadrac Mahny Villacastin


Under 10
1. Keith Adrian Ilar

2. Ran Zeth Marco Magallanes

3. Clifford Bhell Talledo

Under 12

1.   Justin Luis Joseph

2.   Ghian Michael Aleria

3.   Charlemagne Romanillos

Under 14

1.   Jerish John Velarde

2.   Neilstin Gallenero

3.   Lennox Samson

Under 16

1.   Jasper Faeldonia

2.   Jave Mareck Peteros

3.   Jacint Louie Lumangcas

Under 18

1.   Ronald Canino

2.   Christian James Aquino

3.   Michael Torion


Under 20

1.   Chris Aldritz Pondoyo

2.   Francis Xavier Guimalan

3.   Adrian Basilgo



Under 8

1.   Faith Argenal

2.   Ghislaine Shae Allosada

3.   Princess Rane Magallanes


Under 10

1.   Iana Angela Sotaridona

2.   Zhaoyu Capilitan

3.   Ashzley Aya Nicole Paquinol


Under 12

1.   Kristina Concepcion Belano

2.   Ruelle Canino

3.   Lyn Getubig


Under 14

1.   Atnonella Berthe Racasa

2.   Yzabelle Noriel Nabor

3.   Edelyn Vosotros


Under 16

1.   Regina Catherine Quinanola

2.   Samantha Umayan

3.   Checy Aliena Telesforo


Under 18

1.   Mary Joy Tan

2.   Marian Calimbo

3.   Me Ann Joy Baclayon