Monday, October 12, 2009


( Austin Jacob Literatus in action during last year's Shell grandfinals )

(The Philippine Star) Updated October 13, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - John Ranel Morazo turned a big break into a winning moment, stunning the top two seeds to capture the juniors title while Vince Angelo Medina ran away with the kiddies crown in the 2009 Shell National Youth Active Chess Championships at SM Megamall last Sunday.

A substitute for fellow Univ. of Baguio student Leonardo Abalos, Morazo surprised second seed and erstwhile unbeaten Jan Emmanuel Garcia in the sixth round then shocked top seed Bryll Arellano in the eighth before toppling Luffe Magdalaga in the final round to clinch the victory.

Abalos topped the Tuguegarao qualifier but was among those trapped by floods in Baguio and failed to make it to the national finals. Morazo took over Abalos spot as fourth placer in the Northern Luzon leg and made the most of his stint, finishing with seven points and bagging the top prize of P30,000 in the 20-and-under category.

The fifth seeded Medina, who scored 4.5 points in the first five rounds of the 14-and-under division Saturday, sustained his fine form and racked up 3.5 points in the last four rounds, including a crucial upset win over second seed John Tabada in the seventh, to post a two-point victory over No. 1 McDominique Lagula.

The FEU-FERN student wound up with eight points and took home P20,000 plus trophy during the awards rites graced by Pilipinas Shell communications manager Bobby Kanapi and GM Eugene Torre.

Other guests were Nat’l Chess Federation of the Phils. president Butch Pichay, Sankie Simbulan, business and corporate communications manager of Pilipinas Shell, and Mich Cruz, government and media relations manager of Pilipinas Shell.

Paulo Bersamina of Padre Zamora Elem. School in Pasig won the Art Borjal award.

It was an inspiring win indeed for Morazo, a grand finalist in the last four years of the annual event, including the kiddies division in 2005, but never figured in the championship until he missed the grand finals for the first time this year.

Garcia suffered back-to-back losses after sweeping his first five games and dropped out of the juniors division lead. But the top Ateneo bet trounced Giovanni Romero in the eighth round and drew with Joseph Turqueza to salvage second place with 6.5 points worth P20,000.


Meanwhile, the pride of Toril, Davao City Austin Jacob Literatus won P10,000 cash for placing third in the kiddies event of the 17th Shell National Youth Active Chess Championships that ended at the SM Megamall Sunday.

Literatus finished with five points in the 9 rounds swiss system competition behind champion Vince Angelo Medina, who tallied eight points, and runner-up McDominique Lagula, who garnered 5.5 points in the 14 and under category.

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