28 May 2011

Garcia wins Phl's lone gold in Asian youth

Subic, Philippines - FIDE Master Jan Emmanuel Garcia provided the lone bright spot for host Philippines, winning the country’s lone gold medal in what turned out to be an all-Indian show in the 2011 Asian Youth chess championships at the Subic Bay Traveler’s Hotel here Saturday.

Garcia, one of the country’s brightest young stars, outwitted Amiralar Javidfar of Iran in their keenly-watched ninth and final round showdown to finish with seven points on five wins and four draws in the boys 16 years old and under category in this prestigious tournament which attracted 287 players from 20 countries.

An incoming fourth year high school student at Ateneo de Manila, Garcia finished half-a-point ahead of Nima Jabanbakht of Iran and a full point ahead of Ranjan Sahoo of India, compatriot Dominique Lagula and Ali Valizadeh of India.

“I’m very happy to win the gold medal here. It was a tough tournament,” said Garcia, a mainstay of the famed V. Luna Chess Club under Greg Rellorosa.

Overall, the Philippines bagged one gold, two silvers and two bronzes in the week-long competition dominated by Asian heavyweight India.

India capped another dominating year in chess by wining 10 golds, four silvers and four bronzes.

The Indians finished with a 4-3-2 haul in the boys division and 6-1-2 in the girls category.

Aside from the Philippines, the only other country to break India’s dominance was Iran, which won the gold medal in the boys 12 under courtesy of Shahin Lorpanizangeneh.

Dennis Gutierrez III bagged the silver medal in the boys 8 years old and under to join Garcia in the podium.

In the girls division, World Youth campaigner Jan Jodilyn Fronda clinched the silver medal in the girls 18 years old and under.

Fronda, a member of the De La Salle University chess team, defeated Bayar Anu of Mongolia to finish second behind eventual champion Rucha Pujari of India.

Fronda, who nearly did not make it to the tournament proper, finished with seven points on seven wins and two losses.

Actually, Fronda dropped her first two assignments but came back strong by winning the next seven matches.

The only other silver medal came from Samantha Glo Revita, who finished second behind two-time world under-8 championIvana Maria Furtado of India. (Philippine Star)