ATTN: SPORTS SECTION PLEASE
12-YEAR-OLD BERSAMINA TOPS ANGPING CHESS CUP
YOU can add the name of Paulo Bersamina to the list of greats in the sports of chess.
On Friday, the pride of Pasay City Bersamina added another feather on his cap by winning the tough and prestigious second Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Harry Angping Cup rapid chess championships at the PSC canteen inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Vito Cruz, Manila.
The 12-year-old Bersamina, the pride of Meralco Chess Club etched his name in history after he became the youngest-ever RP junior champion in Davao recently, dominated the boys 12 under category with a perfect score of seven points.
"Malaki pong tulong y'ung binigay na laptop po sa akin ni Cong.Pichay (Butch). Simula po nun ay lalu pong naging maganda performance natin," said Bersamina, an incoming freshman student of Far Eastern University (FEU) under the tutelage of two-time olympian GM Jayson Gonzales.
" Malaking tulong po talaga na may laptop po tayo at mga chess engines," said the amiable Bersamina, who thank his benefactor Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr. president/ chairman of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) for undying support.
Pichay on his part " At 15, kaya malaki ang posibilidad na makuha ni Paulo (Bersamina) ang grandmaster title. May talent y'ung bata at disiplinado at may puso talaga sa larong chess. Humble pa,"
After topping the RP Junior Championships in Davao, Bersamina spearhead the RP age-group campaign in the ASEAN age-group chess championships held in Subic early this month, collecting with three gold medals in the individual event and another three gold medals in the team event, adjudged the country’s winngest player with a total of six gold medal under his belt.
With his current feat here in Angping Cup, the former La Salle Greenhills (LSGH) top gunner Bersamina pocketed the top prize of P20,000 at stake in this one-day competition organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) in honor of Angping.
Cavite's Elijiah Maliam finished second with six points, while Laguna's Shania Mae Mendoza wound up third with 5.5 points.
Maliam received P10,000, while Mendoza earned P8,000
Four players — Daryl Samantila (Malabon), John Fleer Donguines (Pasig), Stephen Rome Pangilinan (Bulacan) and Marie Antoinette San Diego (Cavite) – shared fourth to seventh places with five points.
Sharing the limelight were McDominique Lagula (Quezon City) and Nelson Mariano III (Manila), who topped the 16 under and 20 under categories, respectively.
Angping graced the colorful opening ceremony, along with NCFP secretary-general and Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, Asia's First IM Rodolfo Tan Cardoso and NCFP executive/events director Willie Abalos.
Angping and Bersamina also made the ceremonial moves.
Lagula finished with six points, half a point ahead of Vince Angelo Medina, Jan Emmanuel Garcia and Jan Nigel Galan in the 16 years old and under class.
Lagula pocketed P20,000, while Medina, Garcia and Galan received P8,000.
Five players – Benigno de Jesus, Avhix Alfonso, Jerad Docena, WFM Cheradee Chardine Camacho and Jean Karen Enriquez – shared fifth to ninth places with five points.
WFM Cherry Ann Mejia wound up 10th overall with 4.5 points.
In the 20 years old and under category, Mariano finished in a two-way tie for first place with Richelieu Salcedo with identical scores of six points.
But Mariano, younger brother of GM Nelson Mariano II and five-time national women’s champion Cristine Rose Mariano, clinched the title by virtue of higher tiebreak score over Salcedo.
Salcedo, a mainstay of SCUAA champion Rizal Technological University, settled for runner-up honors.
The two, however, split the combined cash prize for first and second placers and went home with P15,000.
Third to fifth places went to Sherwin Tiu, Leo Daylo, Jr. and Kevin Mirano, who finished with 5.5 points apiece.
They earned P6,333 each.
Completing the Top 10 finishers are Michael Punzalan, Mari Jospeh Turqueza, Joel Pimentel, Sheider Nebato and Antonio Chavez, who all finished with five points. MARLON BERNARDINO