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UMAYAN SIBLINGS SPEARHEAD TEAM PHILIPPINES INTO OVERALL CHAMPIONSHIP AT ASEAN AGE GROUP CHESS IN MALAYSIA


PhilBoxing.com


THE Umayan siblings-Samantha and Gabriel John of Davao City scored contrasting victories to help Team Philippines bag the overall championship at the conclusion of the 18th Association of Southeast Asian Nation Age Group Chess Championship in Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia Sunday night, December 3, 2017.

The 11-year-old Samantha, a grade six pupil of Buhangin Central Elementary School, pocketed three golds in the standard, rapid and blitz team events while securing the silver in the rapid and a bronze in the standard play for the Girls 12 years category to earn the distinction as the top Davaoeño performer in the tournament.


His eldest brother, Gabriel John, 12, a grade 7 student of Holy Cross of Davao College, delivered two golds in the standard and blitz team events plus bronze medal in the individual of the standard play in the Boys 12 years category.

Gabriel John and Samantha are children of United States Chess Federation (USCF) National Master Vincent Umayan and Merlinda Babol.

"All our sacrifices have paid off," said the 42-years-old father, who topped the blitz chess tournament in Long Island City in New York last November 12, 2017.

New York-based Vincent coached them by solving complex puzzles, different endgames, studying the games of world champions and playing mini blitz matches with them via online almost every night, while Merlinda accompanied the kids in their first international stint.

"I assessed their capability to win medals for the country in the ASEAN AGE GROUP as very high because they were really giving their best and showed grit and determination even in our 2 to 3 hours practice sessions," Vincent added.

"Their next tournament is to try to qualify in Asian Youth, Asean Age Group and Asian Schools in 2018," last word of Umayan.

Team Philippines ended the supremacy of Vietnam in the Asean region winning the over-all championships with 83 Golds, 37 Silver and 29 bronze medals.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines vice president Atty. Cliburn Anthony A. Orbe said the success of the young athletes once again proved chess's lofty record as certified achiever.

"Today our kids dominate Asean Chess, but I believe that we can excel even in the world stage. As our kids reap success in the Asean theatre, it is time for us parents and leaders to dream bigger dreams. My dream is for the Philippines to be as strong as China and India in Chess. Together we can make it happen," said Philippine executive champion Atty. Cliburn Anthony A. Orbe.

Head of delegation is NCFP executive director Red Dumuk and assisted by other officials were International Arbiter James Infiesto, International Master elect Roel Abelgas, National Masters Alex Milagrosa, Wilfredo Neri and Edmundo Gatus and Angelina Mortos.

Team Philippines, supported by the Philippine Sports Commission under Chairman William "Butch" Ramirez and sent by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines under the leadership of Chairman/ President Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Marlon Bernardino.


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