Cebuano NM Velarde bags 2 golds in ASEAN age-group chess
CEBU CITY, Philippines — National Master (NM) Jerish John Velarde put on a stellar performance, bagging two gold medals in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Age Group Chess Championships Zone 3.3 last Thursday, April 22.
The three-day international virtual tournament drew more than a hundred participants from ASEAN member countries.
The 15-year-old Cebuano NM topped the under-16 open division individual event and helped the Philippine squad bag gold in the team competition.
Velarde who earned his NM title in September last year finished with 8.0 points in the nine-round competition on seven wins and two draws.
Seeded fourth, he opened with a win over compatriot Filipino John Martin Fermalino in round one then had a draw against 14th-seed Tran Van Hoang Lam of Vietnam in the second.
Velarde then swept his next three matches against Filipino Rai Enzo Batara, Le Dang Thanh An of Vietnam, and Bodemar Jonathan of Thailand.
In the sixth, NM Velarde scored another draw versus Candidate Master (CM) Hoang Minh Hieu of Vietnam before winning his final three matches over CM Laohawirapap Prin of Thailand, Pham Cong Minh of Vietnam, and compatriot Michael Jan Stephen Inigo.
CM Laohawirapap placed second with 7.0 points while Minh rounded off the top three with 6.0 points.
Fourth to 10th placers in the under-16 open were Le Dang Thanh An (6.0), CM Tong Hai Anh (6.0), Hoang Quoc Khanh (5.5), Inigo (5.5), Nguyen Minh Chi Thien (5.0), Zog Ze Cheah (5.0), and Yuma Okabe (5.0). /rcg
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