Fifteen-year-old sensation Lennon Hart Salgados made Cagayan de Oro City and the province of Misamis Oriental proud in the 10th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Age-Group Chess Championships held in Hue, Vietnam.

Salgados, a 4th-year student of Corpus Christi High School, was among the fightingest 6 players out of 25 RP hopefuls who made it to the medal circle in the just-concluded standard chess competition.

The former “drowning incident” survivor, who resides in Zone 5, Barangay Bonbon, played through undefeated in nine rounds. But just too many draws (5 in all against 4 wins) had Salgados settling for silver in the 16-under boys rivalry topped by the top-seeded Nguyen Van Hai of Vietnam.

Van Hai, whose third-round match with Salgados ended in a draw, secured the gold after drawing his 9th and final round match with Kaushik Murali of Singapore.

Salgados also played safe agreeing to split the point with Vietnamese Bui Manh Hung on second board to claim the runner-up honor.

Overall, the national junior chess team bagged one gold, two silver and five bronze medals.

Cherry Ann Mejia bannered the squad after ruling the 14-under division in this tournament participated by Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore and host Vietnam.

The Taguig City pride collected eight points on seven wins and two draws.

Mejia trounced Pham Hong Puc of Vietnam in the ninth and final round to overshadow erstwhile leaders Daniel Ho of Indonesia, and Nguyen Ngoc Troy and Trang of Vietnam.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines President Prospero Pichay Jr. expressed elation over the achievement of what he tagged as the future of Philippine chess.

“We are so proud of these young athletes. This is a strong signal of our bright future in the chess industry,” said Pichay.

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