by RONALYN BANAKEN
University of Baguio’s (UB) Bea Mendoza shone anew in the recently concluded 21st Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship Northern Luzon Leg in Tuguegarao City on Aug. 17 - 18.
Mendoza – a first year student of the UB High School – won all her seven games to top the girls 14 years-and-under (kiddies) category, earning her a slot in the Shell National Grand Finals slated on Sept. 13 - 15 in Mandaluyong City.
In a dramatic last round finish, Mendoza – the reigning national girls under-12 years champion – aced Genlaiza Bagorio of Nueva Vizcaya to romp with the championship. A win by Bagorio would have created a three-way logjam on top with eventual second placer Grace Bakingkito of Laguna. Mendoza thus joins an elite cast in the national finals and will be battling with the champions from the five other legs.
The tournament, organized by Shell Corporation, was participated in by 300 players who competed in four categories. Games were played with a time control of 25 minutes per player with two seconds increment, also known as the Bronstein System in chess parlance. Past winners of the tournament include Grandmasters Wesley So and Mark Paragua.
In another victorious feat, the UB chessers dominated the Baguio Center Mall Blitz Chess Grand Finals last Aug. 24. In the kiddies’ division, Bea Mendoza once again bagged the championship trophy. Meanwhile, Marvin Limocon and Mark Vincent Limocon finished second and third, respectively. In addition, FIDE Master Haridas Pascua ruled the Open Division, with Leonardo Abalos Jr. finishing third.
The UB chess team is coached by Engr. Joseph Codiaman and Ronaldo Alvez of the UB Athletic Department.