(This article was published by The Manila Times: http://www.manilatimes.net/la-salette-school-rules-chess-tournament/279503/)
DAGUPAN CITY: Two of the top chess players from La Salette School here each scored five points to capture the titles in their respective divisions in the high school category in the 2nd Inter-Private School Chess Tournament of the Private School Principal League and the Dagupan City Sports Commission on August 11 at the city museum.
John Rhuiz Bravo earned the championship in the Swiss system tournament for being the only player in the secondary boys who scored five straight wins. Bravo formerly played for Pangasinan 1 and earned a gold medal in the Region 1 Athletic Association Meet. He was a silver medalist under team Philippines in the Association of South East Asian Games.
Coming in second was Kyle Brent Gallego of Lyceum Northwestern University-Francisco Q. Duque Special Science High School (LNU-FQDSSHS) after winning the playoff with Angelbert Baltazar of the Divine Word Academy of Dagupan who took the third place honor.
Bravo’s schoolmate Maycydel Fajardo likewise earned the championship title in the secondary girls division after winning the playoff with Feah Rechille Abad of Lyceum Northwestern University-Francisco Q. Duque Special Science High School. Both earned five points in their games, which put them in the playoff.
Fajardo formerly played for Pangasinan II. She twice represented the province in the Batang Pinoy national competition and once in the Palarong Pambansa.
Finishing third after Abad was Geraldine Kate Cercado of St. John Cathedral School (SJCS).
In the elementary division, Kim Salinas of SJCS took an easy win to grab the title after scoring five straight points in all her games. She was a silver medalist in the 1st Inter-Private School Chess Tournament.
Coming in second and third were Sophia Reyes of JCCMI Academy and Samantha Viray of Northfield Academy, respectively.
In the elementary boys competition, Kenneth Estacio’s strategical moves prevailed in the free-for-all playoff over John Alexis Padillo of SJCS and Joshua Baraganza of Wonderland School to win the championship. Padillo was second and Braganza, third.
The champions as well as the second placers will represent the private schools association in the coming division meet where they will face players from the public schools.
Meanwhile, Mayor Belen T. Fernandez was overwhelmed by the good number of participants which was twice as much than last year’s as the total number of participants reached 96.
Fernandez congratulated the organizers of the tournament and went on to suggest that a similar tournament be staged for senior citizens.
“Chess is one good sports which raises one’s IQ, it exercise both sides of the brain, increases one’s creativity, improve one’s memory, increases problem-solving skills, improves reading skills and concentration, it teaches planning and foresight and the most important of all, it prevents alzheimer’s disease.
That’s why I’d like to push for a chess tournament among our elders so that they will continue to be intellectually active,” said Fernandez.