Fast-rising Mohammad Sacar,17; Earl Vincent Racho, 17; Karen Ronan, 17; and Princess Grace Aseneta, 16, left Saturday night for the big city with high hopes to make a mark in the tournament in which winners will represent the country in the Asia Juniors and World Juniors Championships late this year.
National Master Prospero Cruz is optimistic that all four players will “do well” in the tournament wherein top class junior players nationwide are expected to see action.
“The winners in this tournament will represent the country in the Asia and World Juniors Championships and our players have a good chance to make it,” said Cruz, Holy Cross of Davao College chess team coach, who will be accompanying the four players.
Apart from the right to represent the country in the two prestigious international competitions, the men’s and women’s top winners will bring home P10,000 apiece.
Before competing in the National Juniors Open, Cruz said the players – all Holy Cross of Davao College chess varsity – will first see action in the 2007 National Age-Group tournament slated May 1 to 6 at the same venue.
Sacar, Racho and Ronan will vie for top honors in 18 years old and below while Aseneta will dispute the title in 16 years old and below division.
“ Playing in the age-group tournament is a good tune-up for them. It would boost their preparation for the juniors open,” said the 46-year-old Cruz, who became National Master in 1989.
He said joining these kinds of competitions is a “big thing” for the young players.
“This is good exposure for them. For sure, they will gain a big experience playing there against top junior players in the country,” he added.