Philgymn Villajuan racked up 3.5 points in the last four rounds, including a sweep of the last three, to clinch the solo championship in the kiddies division of the 23rd Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship 2015 Visayas leg at SM Cebu Event Center in Cebu City last Sunday.
Villajuan, a mainstay of Brg. Legaspi Elementary School, was held to a draw by Regina Quiñanola in the sixth round but bounced back strong with victories over No. 7 James Paraon, No. 14 Angel Bagano and sixth seed Gil Casa Jr. to emerge solo champion with eight points in the 7-12 division of the three-category tournament sponsored by Pilipinas Shell.
The No. 17 ranked Villa¬juan’s romp thus completed the lesser-lights domination of the second leg of the five-stage regional elims after No. 74 Genesis Borromeo of Diaz College topped the juniors division and No. 12 Adrian dela Cruz reigned in senior play of the event sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.
Top seed Adrian De Luna rebounded from a shaky stint in the first five rounds with a sweep of the last four to finish solo second with 7.5 points and gain the other berth in the national finals slated in September at SM Megamall.
De Luna, of Sta. Barbara Central School, struggled with 3.5 points in the first day but trampled Quiñanola, John Dazo, Arje Villarin and Checy Telesforo at the resumption of the nine-round Swiss system tournament to slip past a host of contenders for the second grand finals seat.
Malabuyoc Elem. School’s Marian Calimbo also rallied with 3.5 points in the last four rounds, including victories over Jasia Dorog and Jave Pateros to finish joint third at seven points and snare the lone female berth in the national finals. Other seven pointers but failed to advance were John Belano, Jerish Velarde, Vic Derotas, Casa and Quiñanola.
Joining Borromeo and dela Cruz in the grand finals of the event backed by Shell FuelSave Gasoline and Diesel, Shell V-Power Nitro+, Shell Helix Oil Change Plus, Shell Citi Visa, Shell Pepeng Pasada, Shell FuelOil Plus, Shell Advance Ultra, Shell Helix, Shell Rimula, Unilever and SM Supermalls, are Chris Pondoyo, University of San Carlos’ Laila Nadera and Jethro Esplanada and Airene Robillos, also of USC.