Friday, July 17, 2009

Six-year-old challenges Pacquiao

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Frank “Boy” Pestaño

WE have several future grandmasters in the making in the persons of six-year-old Stephen Rome Pangilinan, seven-year-old Vic Glysen Derotas, Renzi Kyle Sevillano, nine, and 10-year-old Paolo Bersamina. Vic Glysen and Kyle are both Cebuanos, while Paolo and Stephen are from Luzon.

Stephen, a product of Milo Checkmate, won first place in the Susan Polgar World Open (Las Vegas International Chess Festival) against 36 competitors in the 8-Under bracket.

When asked why he was triumphant he said, “Kasi ginamit ko yong pamatay kong opening!”

“I (would) like to face Manny (Pacquaio) because I saw him on television play chess before his fight,” said Stephen.

“I also want to play against grandmaster Wesley So,” he said.

“He’s got a lot of (chess) points and he’s very good.”

Playing against Manny will generate a lot of interest between one so young and the most celebrated Filipino boxer of all time.

The big question is—will Manny Pacquiao accept the challenge?

When she first made headlines, I was surprised that a girl could play as well as a boy.

Glenda Derotas’s proud parents are Victor and Melchora. She is presently in Grade 2 at Camp Lapu-Lapu Elementary school. Her father is a soldier with the PAF.

The only girl among a brood of three, she started playing chess at the tender age of four. She is also a consistent honor pupil since pre-school and ranked No.2 among 105 examinees who took the entrance test in her school.

She was also a regional finalist in the DepEd MTAP math challenge 2009 and dreams of joining the PMA when she grows up.

Among her achievements are: gold medalist in the 2007 Milo Little Olympics at five, and gold medalist in the 2008 Cebu City Olympics at seven.

She was also the champion in the 8-under division in the National Age Group 2009 in Kalibo, Aklan and was nominated to be the country’s youngest delegate to the 10th Asean Age Group 2009 in Hue, Vietnam.

Renzi Kyle Sevillano has been a consistent participant in all of Cepca’s tournaments. Most of our members are wary of this gifted boy as he has scalped some seasoned veterans five to six times his age.

The son of Napoleon and Melchora, he is also the nephew of one of the most gifted Cebuanos to ever play the game, IM Enrico “Econg” Sevillano and is the grandson of chess regular Luis. His other uncle is Voltaire.

The Sevillanos are protégées of NM Bombi Aznar, who was president of the Philippine Chess Federation in the 70s.

Kyle has been the champion several times in Kiddies tournaments in Cebu. He has represented Cebu in the prestigious Shell National Finals since he was six years old.

He won the 10-Under title in the National Age Group in Kalibo Aklan and represented the Philippines in the 10th Asean Age Group 2009 in Hue, Vietnam.

Paolo Bersamina is no stranger to achievements. He won two gold medals in the 7th Asean Age Group in Jakarta in 2006— in the rapid and blitz categories—both in the 8-Under division.

A student of the UE Elementary Laboratory School, Paolo is the youngest son in a family of chess enthusiasts. His father, Norberto, was a former chess player of the Mapua Institute of Technology. Paolo’s elder brother, Joshua and Joseph are all chess players.

Paolo has been playing since at age four.

He won the gold medal in the12-Under category in Vietnam this year. His coach, Henry Mariano, sees him as a future GM and praises his diligence and discipline.

Paolo, a Pasay City resident, got further recognition for his achievement when he was inducted into Pasay City’s Hall of Fame by no less than Pasay Mayor Wenceslao Trinidad.

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