by RONALYN BANAKEN
CHESS PRODIGIES UB’s Mendoza and Vinluan will represent the country to the ASEAN+ Age Group Chess Championship in Macau this June.
Bea Mendoza and Brylle Gever Vinluan of the University of Baguio High School (UBHS) shone anew in the recently concluded 2014 National Age Group Chess Championship Grand Finals held in San Antonio, Quezon Province last April 21-27.
Mendoza outperformed a stellar field in the girls’ 14 years-and-under division to win the crown, scoring 11 points in 12 games.
Agusan del Norte’s Woman FIDE Master Allaney Jia Doroy, the division’s top seed, was a far second with nine points while Alexis Osena of Quezon Province also hauled nine points – however with lower points in tie breaks – to finish third.
On the other hand, in the boys’ 16 years-and-under division, Vinluan collected nine points and a half in 12 games, securing the third spot. Cebu City’s Kyle Renzi Sevillano took the top honors with 10 ½ points. Malabon City’s Daryl Unix Samantilla also had nine points and a half but better tie breaks, placing him on the second spot.
With their twin feat, Mendoza and Vinluan earned berths in the Philippine team who will compete in the 15th ASEAN+ Age Group Chess Championship in Macau on June 3-12. It will be the second consecutive stint for Mendoza, having won two medals in the 14th edition of the tourney held in Thailand last year.
Mendoza likewise played in the Asian Youth Championship in Sari, Iran last year.
Meanwhile, Vinluan, the reigning Batang Pinoy Games champion, will make his debut in the prestigious event.
The two will undergo a three-week training program in Manila under the National Chess Federation of the Philippines before leaving for Macau in early June.
The UB chess team is coached by Engr. Joseph Codiaman and Ronaldo Alvez of the UB Athletics Department.