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Pinoy bets dominate ASEAN Age Group chess tilt


Antonella Berthe Racasa downed countrywoman Roilanne Marie Alonzo and then watched her four erstwhile co-leaders either draw or lose their respective matches to clinch the standard girls Under-12 title in the ASEAN+ Age Group Chess Championships at the Royal Mandaya Hotel last night.

Racasa, a native of San Roque, Marikina who turned 11 on June 12, finished with the best score of 6.5 points, half a point ahead of Vietnamese Nguyen Hoang Thai Ngoc, Nguyen Thi Mai Lan and Nguyen Phuc Yen Nhi with six points apiece to also clinch the Woman FIDE Master title.

Tied with Alonzo, Vietnamese Bui Ngoc Phuong Nghi, Nguyen Hoang Tha Ngoc and Nguyen Phuc Yen Nhi with 5.5 points entering the ninth and final round, Racase emerged the lone player victorious among the lot to claim the crown.

Bui lost to Nguyen Thi Mai Lan, Nguyen halved the point with the Philippines’ Kimberly Colaste and Nguyen split the point with local bet Francgsca Lagro in this event organized by Chess Events International, sanctioned by the NCFP under Butch Pichay, bankrolled by the Phl Sports Commission and backed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

It was a come-from-behind win by Racasa, as she bucked losses in the first and fourth rounds by scoring 3.5 points in the last four rounds including a shock victory over top seed Bui in the eighth and penultimate round.

“My father taught me to always never give up and always stand up when I fall,” said Racasa in Filipino referring to Robert, the country’s father of memory sports in the country.

Also pulling off victories were International Master Paulo Bersamina and WFM Shania Mendoza in the premier U20 section, Dale Bernardo in the U18, Ronald Canino in the Open U16 and Kaye Lalaine Regidor in the girls’ U10.

Bersamina, a two-time Olympiad veteran, drew with IM John Marvin Miciano to cap his triumph with 7.5 points while the Batumi World Chess Olympiad-bound Mendoza bested Laila Camel Nadera to likewise finish with 7.5 points and end up with a WIM title and a WGM norm.

Bernardo, who halved the point with Aeron Keife Charles Sinining actually ended up tied on top with Far Eastern U standout John Merill Jacutina, who turned back Le Nguyen Khoi Nguyen, with seven points each but the former won via win-over-the-other-rule after beating the latter in the second round.

Canino, for his part, also wound up tied for first with Vetnam’s FM Pham Phu Vinh and Bui Duc Huy but won the crown and the FM title after tiebreaks.

Regidor took the gold by beating Mecel Angela Gadut in the last round to finish with seven points.