A TOTAL of 156 players are vying for slots to the Asean chess championship in the 2012 Gov. Oscar S. Moreno National Age Group tournament-Mindanao leg which got going Saturday at the Misamis Oriental capitol grounds in Cagayan de Oro.
The opening ceremony, presided over by Misamis Oriental Chess Development Foundation president Memen Moreno, coincided with the blessing of the newly renovated Chess Plaza which boasts marble chess tables and benches.
Top youngsters from Iligan, Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga, General Santos, Marawi and Davao City are competing against their counterparts from Cebu, Pangasinan, Aklan, Bohol, Nueva Vizcaya and the National Capital Region in the tournament hosted by Moreno, the governor of Misamis Oriental.
The champions in each division will represent the country in the 2012 Asean championships to be held in Hue, Vietnam, in June while the top five in each category will earn berths to the grand finals scheduled next month in Tanauan City.
Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales, the NCFP executive director who represented chair-president Prospero Pichay Jr., was all praise for the venue, which he said is similar to chess plazas in the United States and in Europe. Steve Silva, Contributor