Sevillano, Enriquez cop chess crowns
MANILA, Philippines - Kyle Rhenzi Sevillano completed his rise from a kiddies ruler to a juniors champion while Jean Karen Enriquez bucked a final round setback to claim the juniors girls’ crown in the 21st Shell National Youth Active Chess Championships grand finals at SM Megamall Event Center last Sunday.
Sevillano, who swept his first five matches in impressive fashion, won two more games at resumption to cushion the impact of his shaky windup and emerge solo champion with 7.5 points. The Mindanao leg winner dismantled Mark Labog and Jeazzir Surposa in the sixth and seventh rounds then drew with Candidate Master Jan Nigel Galan in the eighth before bowing to Vince Medina in the final round of the 10-player tournament sponsored by Pilipinas Shell.
The 14-year-old Sevillano, who topped the kiddies division last year, thus duplicated GM Wesley So’s feat in the early 2000s where the latter, now the country’s leading player and one of the world’s youngest GMs, dominated both divisions in consecutive years.
Galan scored three points in the last four rounds and finished second with seven points while Timothy So Kua and Jerome Villanueva tied for third with 6.5 points. Top seed Felix Balbona wound up fifth with 5.5 points followed by Medina (3.5), Allan Pason (3), Aljie Cantonjos (2.5) and Surposa and Labog, who both had two points.
Enriquez, who shared the lead with Gladys Hazelle Romero after six rounds, humbled Romero in the seventh then toppled Michelle Yaon and Jazzelle Villarin before dropping her final round match to top seed Ella Grace Moulic. The Southern Luzon leg winner finished with seven points to beat Moulic and No. 2 Arvie Lozano, who both had six points.