International Master Michael Concio, Jr. retained the title he was expected to win, while Ma. Elayza Villa came out of nowhere to crown herself girls’ champion in the National Juniors and Kiddies Chess Championships in Alicia, Isabela on Tuesday.
Concio, a World Cup veteran, needed to draw his ninth and final-round game with Christian Olaybal and watched conqueror Jan Clifford Labog fall to Chester Neil Reyes to snare the juniors’ title with 7.5 points.
Reyes wound up second with seven points, while Labog edged Oscar Joseph Cantela via tiebreak to settle for third with 6.5 points apiece in this event backed by host Mayor Jose Alejandro.
For Villa, she needed to hurdle Shiela Mer Donoga to finish tied for first with Ruelle Canino, a winner over Rinoa Mariel Sadey, with 7.5 points before eventually claiming the title with a higher tiebreak.
Topping the kiddies’ side were Deandra Castronuevo in the girls’ division and Phil Martin Casiguran in the boys’ category.