MANILA – The Philippines kicked off its campaign in the FIDE World Youth Championships in Italy on a good note as FIDE Masters Christian Gian Karlo Arca and Mark Jay Bacojo won their respective first-round matches in the standard events on Monday.
Arca defeated India's Wadhawan Daaevik in the boys' U-14 category while Bacojo also prevailed over Albania's Kelvin Kosta in the boys’ U-18 class at the Pala Dean Martin Centro Congressi in Montesilvano, Italy.
“The first round is one of the toughest rounds in any tournament. It usually sets the tone of how you’re going to perform,” said Arca, who will face Lithuanian FM Gustas Morkunas on Tuesday.
"We hope to perform well in this event and gain some Elo (a rating system used in zero-sum games) rating points, as well as the coveted IM (International Master) Norms," Bacojo added. His next match will be against Poland's Tymon Ochedzan.
Arca and Bacojo are playing under the guidance of Dasmariñas Mayor Jenny Barzaga, Rep. Elpidio "Pidi" Barzaga Jr., and national coach FIDE Master Roel Abelgas. They both earned the first of three IM Norms during the 18th IGB Dato' Arthur Tan Malaysian Open Chess Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in September.
In the girls’ division, Jirah Floravie Cutiyog triumphed over German Veronika Lorenz in the U14 category.
"It was a tough match," said Cutiyog, who won after 42 moves of the Sicilian Defense, Rossolimo Variation. She will next meet Poland's Zuzanna Gaszka.
Other winners were Woman National Master Kaye Lalaine Regidor over Austrian Emilia Deak-Sala (girls’ U16) and Woman National Master Franchesca Largo over Czech Republic's Anna Voriskova (girls' U18) while Anica Shey Dimatangihan drew with Turkmenistan's Mahri Gamyradova (girls' U14).
Regidor will battle Mongolian Erdenebayar Khuslen, Largo will tackle Slovakian Jana Sosovickova and Dimatangihan will take on Armenian Ani Avetisyan in the second round.
Meanwhile, Mark Gabriel Usman bowed to Canadian Leo Lin and Charly Jhon Yamson lost to New Zealand's Candidate Master Kendrick Botong Zhang (boys U14), National Master Oscar Joseph Cantela succumbed to German John Heinrich (boys U-16), Woman National Master Bonjoure Fille Suyamin surrendered to American Woman International Master Iris Moe and Maureiin Lepaopao fell to Mongolian Bayarsaikhan Khulan (girls U14) in the first round.
The Philippine team, coached by Arena Grandmaster Almario Marlon Quiroz Bernardino Jr., Woman FIDE Master Shania Mae Mendoza and Ederwin Estavillo, is supported by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.; Cavite Vice Governor Athena Bryana Delgado Tolentino; General Trias City Mayor Luis "Jon Jon" Ferrer IV and Vice Mayor Jonas Glyn Porto Labuguen; National Chess Federation of the Philippines chairman/president, Rep. Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr.; CEO Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales; and Philippine Olympic Committee president and Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino. (PNA)