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Bicolano chess prodigy eyes gold at Palarong Pambansa 2024

By: Futch Anthony Inso - CDN Digital Correspondent | July 10,2024 - 08:34 PM

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Bince Rafael Operiano

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A Bicolano athlete hopes to bag the gold in the chess competition for the Palarong Pambansa 2024 in Cebu City.

Bince Rafael Operiano, 10 years old, a resident of Barangay Busac, Oas in Albay, has been playing chess since he was 6 years old. He will compete in the elementary category for the chess competition.

His father, Ben Operiano, taught him how to play chess. Ben said that he also played chess and participated in school competitions but did not pursue it due to a lack of support.

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Bince Rafael Operiano with his father, Ben

At the age of six, Ben said his son had already participated in an age-group competition in their place, where he became the champion.

Last year, Bince also competed in the Asian Games in Thailand, winning a gold medal.

Before this, in 2022, he competed in the ASEAN Games, also held in Thailand; however, their team only won the silver medal.

Although he wants his son to win the gold in the Palarong Pambansa 2024, he admitted that the competition is stiff since athletes from different regions are carefully selected.

“Mahirap po ang laban kasi karamihan sa kanila ay talagang chess players na piling-pili sa kanilang rehiyon,” Ben said.

Ben also thanked AGRI Partylist Representative Wilbert Lee for shouldering their financial expenses last year when Bince competed in the Asian Games.

He said that Lee provided around P100,000 for Bince’s trip and hotel accommodation in Thailand.

“Mga pang-ticket sa eroplano, hotel accommodation, tapos allowance,” Ben added.

The chess competition in the Palarong Pambansa 2024 will start on Thursday, July 11, 2024, and will be held at the University of the Philippines (UP)-Cebu.

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TAGS: Chess, Palarong Pambansa 2024

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