MANILA – Jersey Marticio of Cabuyao City, Laguna ruled the girls’ Under-16 division of the Vice Gov. Athena Bryana D. Tolentino National Age Group Chess Championships at the Tagaytay International Convention Center on Sunday.
The 15-year-old Marticio finished with 5.5 points. Sara Dalagan, Daren dela Cruz, Kate Nicole Ordizo and Arleah Cassandra Sapuan registered identical 5.0 points, Maryss Annxeniel Caldoza and WNM Antonella Berthe Racasa both tallied 4.5 points while Yaneah Sofia Morada had 4.0 points.
All eight players will head to the grand finals scheduled from April 2 to 10 in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte.
"It’s been an uphill battle for me but my nerves somehow held and I was able to make it," said Marticio, a grade 10 student at Pulo National High School in Cabuyao.
Marticio is a product of the grassroots chess program of Philippine Executive Chess Association (PECA) president Dr. Fred Paez.
Meanwhile, National Master Christian Gian Karlo Arca and Franchesca Largo topped the premier open and girls’ under-18 division, respectively.
Arca, 13, posted six points, half a point ahead of top seed Cyrus Vladimir Francisco and Del Emerson Dela Cruz, who placed second and third with similar 5.5 points.
"It is with a joyful heart I am praising God for this blessing He has given me. Even though I am considered young for my category, I was able to make it," said the 13-year-Arca, a native of Panabo City, Davao del Norte. He is currently residing in Dasmariñas City, Cavite.
The 16-year-old Largo of Santa Rosa City, Laguna also finished with six points to advance to the grand finals.
Also dominating their respective categories were John Cyrus Borce (boys' 16), Keith Adriane Ilar and Kaye Lalaine Regidor (under-14), Mar Aviel Carredo and Zhaoyu Capilitan (under-12), and Steve Zacky Bolico and Mary Janelle Tan (under-10). (PNA)