The Shell National Youth Active Chess Championships (SNYACC) braces for a full-packed field when the second leg of the five-stage regional circuit resumes this weekend at SM Mall of Asia’s Music Hall in Pasay.
Keen competition is seen as top players and rising stars from the leading Metro Manila schools and nearby cities slug it out for top honors in various divisions of the nine-round Swiss system tournament. The top three and the No. 1 female player from each category will gain berths in the national finals.
Events on tap are the kiddies for players aged 7 to 12 (born between 2004 to 2009), juniors for 13 to 16 years old (born between 2000 to 2003) and seniors for 17 to 20 (born between 1996 and 1999) for boys and girls.
The country’s longest-running talent search kicked off its milestone 25th season in Batangas City last month with Philippine Science High School’s Stephen Rome Pangilinan winning the juniors crown, Michael Concio Jr. of Dasmariñas National High School in Cavite snaring the kiddies plum and Lyceum’s Jonathan Jota dominating the seniors play.
Others who advanced to the national finals set October 7 to 8, also at SM MOA, were runners-up Daniel Quizon (juniors), Mark Jay Bacojo (kiddies) and Romulo Curioso Jr. (seniors) along with top female players Kylen Joy Mordido (juniors), Daren dela Cruz (kiddies) and Venice Vicente (seniors).
Only in the NCR leg will the top three players from each side earn berths in the grand finals.
Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro will host the third leg from August 12 to13 for the Northern Mindanao qualifying leg at SM City while the fourth stage will be held in Davao on September 2 to 3 for the Southern Mindanao stage, also at SM City. The regional elims winds up in Cebu on September 16 to17 for the Visayas qualifying leg at SM City.
The circuit, put up by Pilipinas Shell to discover fresh talents, especially in the countryside, and develop them to become members of future national teams, has produced top grandmasters, including GMs Wesley So, Mark Paragua and Nelson Mariano II.
The event is backed up by Shell V-Power, Shell Advance, Shell Rimula, Shell Helix, Shell Fuel Save, and Shell Card and is also being held in partnership with SM Supermalls. It is open to all Filipinos, non-titled players who are bona fide students certified by their respective schools and registrars. Previous grand final winners are allowed to compete again in their respective categories provided they are still within the age limit.
Registration is ongoing on a first-come, first-served basis with slots limited to 400. For details, contact 09228288510. Registration forms can also be downloaded from www.shell.com.ph/shell_chess.