RP  YOUTH  TEAM  VIES  IN  WORLD  CHESS  IN  GREECE

MANILA,  November 2, 2004 (STAR) Eleven-year-old sensation Wesley So heads a crack squad of 10 young chess players set to leave tonight for the World Youth Chess championships slated Nov. 3-14 at the Creta Maris in Heraklio, Crete in Greece.

The team will play in five categories – under-10, under-12, under-14, under-16 and under-18 – against the toughest young players in the world in the Fide-sanctioned tournament.

The other members of the RP squad are Prince Mark Aquino, Jesus Alfonso Datu, Julius Joseph and Geneline de Ramos, Chardine Cheradee Camacho, Christy Lamiel Bernales, Kimberly Jane Cunanan, Jayveelyn Fronda and Leo Daylo Jr.

So placed 19th in the last year edition after accumulating 7.0 points. The Promil TV ad commercial model also beat IM Chito Garma in the final round of the Tagaytay Philippine Open recently.

"The young players were really inspired by the performance of the Philippine team that joined the Olympiad in Mallorca, Spain and I believe they will also put together a good performance," said National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) director Wilfredo Abalos yesterday.

The RP team to the Spain Olympiad, led by GM Eugene Torre, posted an impressive 12th place finish out of 129 teams.

"We are really thankful to (NCFP president) Go Teng Kok, First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and the FG Foundation, Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino Jr. and PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) chair Eric Buhain for their support to this campaign," added Abalos, who also headed the RP delegation to the Asean youth tilt in Vietnam last August that brought home five gold, seven silver and seven bronze medals.

National Master Homer Cunanan will serve as assistant coach for the team.

The country’s best finish in the annual event was in 2002 when IM Mark Paragua finished third in the individual race of the under 18-section which won by Hungarian GM Ferenc Berkes.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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