Romeo Canino dominated his last three matches to snare the juniors crown while Euniel Capilitan sustained his form to nail the kiddies title in the 24th Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship’s Northern Mindanao leg held at the Cyberzone of SM City Cagayan de Oro on Sunday.
Canino, half-a-point behind Aaron Caresosa after six rounds, swept his last three games, including a final round romp over Marc Villarojo, as the Liceo de Cagayan University stalwart emerged solo champion in the 13-16 category with 8.5 points.
Aldin Ranario of MOGCHS, tied with Canino heading into the last three rounds of the Swiss system tournament sponsored by Pilipinas Shell, racked up 2.5 points,including a final round victory over Ronald Canino, to finish second with 8 points and clinched the other berth in the national finals.
On hand during the awards rites were Melanie Bularan, Social Performance and Social Investment Manager of Pilipinas Shell, and Shell Active chess alumnus Randolf Christopher Dalauta, now with the Engineering Department of Xavier University,along with Shell executives Janot Barretto, Social Perfomance Advisor of Pilipinas Shell, Rocci Litao, Social Perfomance Assistant of Pilipinas Shell, Janice Manzon, Executive Assistant of Vice President for External Relations of Pilipinas Shell.
Caresosa sputtered at the finish, scoring just 1.5 points in the last three rounds and fell short at third with 7.5 points and missed the grand finals which features the top finishers of the five-leg nationwide elims sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.
Capilitan and Kiel Villa kept the momentum of their strong start and took the top two posts in the 7-12 age division with the former, from Fr. William Masterson Elementary School, drawing with Villa in the seventh round before beating Charles Gabing and Mark Torres in the last 2 rounds to claim the title with 8.5 points.
Villa,from Boalan Elementary School, toppled Regina Quinanola in the eighth round then drew Aaron Noblijas to take runner-up honors with eight points and join Capilitan in the national finals.
Ahmad Ali Azote and Diego Caparino, on the other hand, finished tied for first in the seniors section with eight points but the former, from Agusan National High School, took the crown with a superior tiebreak score.
Azote downed Caparino with the black in the seventh round then crushed Kenneth Honculada and Janes Caingles while Caparino, a University of San Carlos mainstay who swept his first six matches, rebounded from his seventh round setback with victories over Alberto Diolola Jr. and Baltazar Rafales Jr.
The top two winners in all divisions will be joined by top female players Quinanola of Malabuyoc Central School (kiddies-7 points), Mary Joy Tan of Jasaan NHS(juniors-7 points) and Caingles of Holy Cross of Davao College (seniors-6points) in the national finals slated October 1 to 2 at SM Megamall.