MISAMIS Oriental native Richelieu “Jongjong” Salcedo III has established himself as one of the fastest junior chess players in the country today.

Fresh from ruling the blitz competition of the 11th ASEAN Youth tourney at Subic Bay in Olongapo City, the 19-year-old Salcedo shone anew in the day-long PSC Chairman Harry Angping Cup Age Group chess championships held Thursday at Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.

Salcedo, a mainstay of Rizal Technology University (RTU) in Mandaluyong, shared first place with eventual champion Nelson Mariano III at 6 points each in the Under 20 rapid category event.

For finishing with similar score in the 7-round Swiss system competition, Mariano and Salcedo thus equally divided among themselves the combined P30,000 for the top 2 major purses.

“Nadali ako sa tiebreak pero hati naman kami sa premyo,” jokingly said Salcedo in tagalog when congratulated by this writer via Facebook interaction.

After a second-round defeat to the third-running Sherwin Tiu, the fast-thinking Salcedo went on to sweep his five remaining matches, beating the likes of Franz Robert Grafil, Patrick Erle Florendo and Joel Pimentel to catch up with Mariano.

Cagayan de Oro compatriots Antonio Chavez Jr. and Lennon Hart Salgados, meanwhile settled at 10th and 15th places, respectively, in the junior rivalry that attracted a total of 58 entries from the different schools and universities in Manila.

As expected, RP’s newest sensation Paulo Bersamina lorded it over in the Under 12 category with a spectacular 7 of 7 performance.

Bersamina came into the Angping Cup with the country’s junior title (at the expense of 20 and below rival players) and the ASEAN’s three golds (standard, rapid, blitz) in 12-under class proudly tucked under his belt.

Upset, however, rocked the Under 16 competition when Mcdominique Lagula placed on top ahead of Vince Angelo Medina, solid favorite in Fide Master Jan Emmanuel Garcia and Candidate Master Jan Nigel Galan.

For emerging solo champions in their respective age brackets, both Bersamina and Lagula (6.5 pts) received P20,000 apiece plus trophies.

article by Lynde Salgados of Sun Star

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