Lapu’s Velarde bags silver in ASEAN chess
IT COULD have been a medal shutout for the Cebuano woodpushers in the ongoing 19th ASEAN+ Age Groups Chess, but Lapu-Lapu City’s Jerish John Velarde rose to the occasion and showcased a stellar performance to win a crucial ninth round match and salvage a silver medal in the boys’ under-12 division standard competition last Sunday evening in Davao City.
The 12-year-old chess phenom, the seventh seed in his division, upset heavily favored Vietnamese Candidate Master (CM) Hoang Gia Bao Vu to finish second place with 6.5 points.
CM Vu also had the same score but the Cebuano had a higher tie break score to claim the silver medal. CM Quoc Hy Nguyen bagged the gold medal with a perfect 9.0 points.
In an interview with Cebu Daily News, Engineer Edilberto Velarde Jr., the father of Jerish, said they didn’t have any options with his son in the final round but to fight to the last pawn.
“We studied hard before the final round, but it was too difficult because his opponent was more skilled, highly rated and more experienced. But we took the risks. We gambled everything. I just told him to play with his all and thankfully he pulled off the miraculous win,” said the elder Velarde.
Among the 20 Cebuano woodpushers who competed in the nine-round standard division, Velarde was the lone medalist.
Velarde also pulled the under-12 team to a silver-medal finish in the team event along with teammates Cedric Kahliel Abris and Mark Bacojo.
Cebuana Regina Catherine Quiñanola also bagged a silver in the team event of the girls under-14 division along with teammates Jeryn San Diego and Ledj Janalyn Barcenas.
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