Top seed Dale Bernardo rebounded from a fifth round setback with a sweep of his last four games, including a final round victory over No.2 Stephen Rome Pangilinan to capture the juniors crown in the 24th Shell National Youth Active Chess Championships Southern Luzon leg at SM Batangas Event Center recently.
No. 16 Emanuel Van Paler actually tied Bernardo after the nine-round Swiss system tournament with a victory over erstwhile leader Eric Labog Jr. in the last round for eight points but the top Far Eastern U bet took the title with a superior tiebreak score.
Bernardo, who lost to Labog in the fifth round, downed Daniel Lopez in the sixth then toppled Jesca Docena and Melito Ocsan before outwitting Pangilinan to complete his come-from-behind victory.
Labog, who scored 2.5 points in the last four rounds, took solo third with 7.5 points and the last berth in the grand finals of the country’s longest, biggest talent search slated in October.
14-year old Kylen Joy Mordido of Dasmarinas National High School finished in a tie with Docena with six points in the juniors division to clinch the lone female slot in the national finals of the event sponsored by Pilipinas Shell, a global leader in power, energy and technology.
Second seed Michael Concio Jr. of St. Anthony School and Nelson Busa Jr. shared the spotlight by ruling the kiddies and seniors divisions, respectively, with Jerlyn Mae San Diego (kiddies) and Ruth Aubrey De Guzman (seniors) snaring the top female honors in their respective divisions.
On hand during awards rites were Darlito Guamos, External Relations manager for Batangas (Upstream and Downstream), Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., and Mary Kay Camille Andal, Shell active chess alumna.
Concio downed top seed Daniel Quizon, Justine Mordido and Darwin Villanueva Jr. at resumption then drew with Jerome Aragones in the final round to emerge solo champion in the 7-12 age category with 8.5 points. Dizon nipped Mordido in the tiebreak for runner-up honors after finishing with identical 7.5 points with both joining Concio in the national finals along with San Diego, who ended up with 6.5 points.
But it was Busa who posted the lone sweep in the second leg of the five-leg regional elims with the ninth-ranked player sustaining his five-match romp Saturday with victories over Brylle Vinluan, De Guzman, Mark Labog and Jonathan Jota.
Vinluan edged Heirry Manaloto in the tiebreak after both wound up with 7.5 points with the dup likewise nailing berths in the grand finals set October 1-2 at SM Megamall along with De Guzman, who finished with six points.