by RONALYN BANAKEN
CHESS WIZARDS UB’s Mendoza (left) and Vinluan (middle) will represent the country in the Asian Youth Chess Championship
while International Master Pascua (right) will compete in the Philippine Sports Commission Cup for his Grandmaster title bid.
University of Baguio High School students Bea Mendoza and Brylle Gever Vinluan will represent the country anew in the 2014 Asian Youth Chess Championship to be held in New Delhi, India on Nov. 6-14.
The duo qualified for the Asian tilt by winning their respective divisions in the selection tournament organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines held last May in Manila.
It will be the second stint for Mendoza in the tournament, having represented the country last year in Iran. The top player will again compete in the under-14 years division. On the other hand, Vinluan will make his debut in the prestigious event and will play in the under-16 years open division.
The two represented the country last June in the 15th ASEAN+ Age Group Chess Championship held in Macau. Vinluan bagged three gold medals while Mendoza won two silvers and one bronze in the said event.
Other members of the six-man Philippine team are National Master Giovanni Mejia of La Salle, National Woman Master Karen Enriquez of the National University, Shania Mendoza and John Merill Jacutina, both from Far Eastern University.
Meanwhile, UB’s International Master Haridas Pascua will battle it out in the Philippine Sports Commission Cup in Manila on Dec. 4-20 – which will cover two tournaments – in his attempt to pick up the Grandmaster (GM) title, the highest awarded by the World Chess Federation. Pascua, 21, needs to earn three GM norms for him to be awarded the GM title.
Pascua currently has an Elo rating of 2400. Grandmasters have a rating of at least 2500. Titles generally require a combination of Elo rating (method of calculating the relative skills of players) and norms (performance benchmarks in competitions including other titled players). Once awarded, the titles are held for life.
The UB chess team is coached by Engr. Joseph Codiaman and Ronaldo Alvez of the UB Athletics Department headed by its director Eduardo Laureano.