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Kwan is Kiddies Chess Queen in Queen City of the South

By Winchell Campos
Sun, 23 Jun 2024

CEBU City—Adina Vera Kwan crowned herself queen of Cebu by scoring a rare sweep in the Cebu leg of the June 1000GMs (grandmasters) kiddies chess championships Saturday here.

In the 11 years-and-under category where both boys and girls competed alongside each other, Kwan proved immovable and focused as she beat all seven opponents in this Swiss System tournament held at the CityMall in the Bacalso district.

Surprisingly, Daniela Chaeline Villalon made it a 1-2 finish for the girls as she finished solo second with 5.5 points in this tournament sponsored by the 1000GMs organization, in Cebu, also known as the Queen City of the South.

Seeded sixth, Kwan was prepared for all comers as she showed her mastery of the London System, her pet opening with the white pieces as well as the Sicilian Najdorf as black, among other opening lines.

After breezing past her first two assignments, the 10-year-old University of Cebu standout beat third seed Juan Miguel Templonuevo, seventh seed Villalon, fifth seed Danica Jolly Lavandero, 12th seed John Patrick Rabor in blazing fashion.

Adina Vera Kwan (C) is 1000GMs Cebu Leg Champion.

By the seventh round, Kwan was already a whole point ahead of eighth seed Renz Jay Oporto, who was at erstwhile solo second. The charming lady chesser never let her guard down a bit as she essayed the London Opening to win handily, getting a high-five from her father, who was there every step of the way, after the match.

Despite the loss, Oporto wound up third with the highest tiebreak points among fellow five-pointers.

Unheralded and unrated Josue Contaoi beat top seed Duane Gabriel Esmoso in the last round and finished fourth. Also with five points were Templonuevo, fourth seed Ian Geoff Caylan and another female chesser, Blessy Valine Padayao.

Danica Jolly Lavandero rounded out the top 10 which included Mikhail Paul Nathan Leyco and John Patrick Rabor.

Cebu-based International Master Rico Mascarinas Sr., who was present to support Rico, Jr., in the 12-16 age group, gave an inspirational speech at the closing ceremonies.

The 71-year-old Cebuano and many-time Olympian Mascarinas, encouraged the kids and their parents to continue their passion for the sport and was awe-inspiring in recalling his sterling career which has spanned more than five decades.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Winchell Campos.

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