MANILA---National University (NU), University of Sto. Tomas (UST) and University of the Philippines (UP) got off to a great start in their respective divisions in the opening round of the Spartan Mining Philippine Inter-Collegiate Chess Team Championship being held at the Library and Media room of Ninoy Aquino Stadium inside Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) in Manila, over the weekend.
The Bustillos-based NU squad, under the tutelage of head coach Jose "Jojo" Aquino opened their bid on a bright note in the Men's Division in the event organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) headed by it's chairman/president Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr. and Secretary-General 7th district Cavite rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino Jr. and backed up by Spartan Mining and Development Corporation in close cooperation with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
The NU Bulldgos Mens team headed by John Ray Batucan, Austin Jacob Literatus, Vince Angelo Medina, Virgen Gil Ruaya and Jefferson Mansanero won their respective matches.
Batucan nipped Einnar Reyes of Adamson Univeristy, Literatus subdued Normel de Jesus of University of Sto. Tomas, Medina toppled Arvie Jongko of San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Ruaya routed Jillian Abraham Aguilera of Univiersity of Batangas and Mansanero crushed Allan Jesse Rosales of University of Batangas.
According to International Arbiter Gene Poliarco, the format calls the combined total score of the top four players of each team, four to count shall constitute the final team standings using the grandprix system.
In the women's play, the Espana-based UST squad, under the watchful eye of head coach former Asian zonal 3.2a champion GM elect Ronald Dableo got the full point courtesy of Loraine Salinas, winner over Marie Fe de Ocampo of University of Batangas.
Other member of the UST lady Tigresses woodpushers are Michella Concio , Merlene Membrere, Michelle Yaon and Shayxanthe Lois Guico ended their respective games into a figthing draw.
Concio split the point with Woman International Master (WIM) elect Janelle Mae Frayna, so did Membrere against Janel An Basbas of Far Eastern University Team B, Yaon against Joanna Vanessa Barbosa of University of the Philippines and Guico against Ruth Aubrey de Guzman of University of the Philippines.
The halved the point results of Barbosa and de Guzman help the UP Lady Fighting Maroons handle by their coaches Fide Master (FM) Leonardo Carlos and Woman International Master (WIM) Catherine Perena in a wonderful start with Woman National Master (WNM) Christy Bernales, Roxanne Atayde and reigning NCR-Shell National Youth Active Chess girls champion Arvie Lozano score contrasting wins.
Bernales defeated Hiezel Coraje of National University, Atayde edged Angelina Mortos of FEU Team B and Lozano beat Jon Ira dela Cruz of Adamson University.
No less than President and CEO of Spartan Mining and Development Corporation and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) Director for Finance Luis G. Ramos, NCFP deputy secretray-general Red Dumuk and NCFP Executive Director GM Jayson Gonzales led the opening rites.
The participating school are National University, Arellano University, Lyceum of the Philippines University, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Rizal Technological University, Adamson University, Far Eastern University Team, University of the Philippines, University of Sto. Tomas and University of Batangas.