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FEU makes Top 10 in online college chess tourney

John Jacutina helped FEU Manila A take a Top 10 spot in an online college chess event. UAAP (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—A quintet from Far Eastern University finished as the top Filipino group in the Kasparov Chess Foundation University Cup that took place recently.

Darry Bernardo led the way for FEU Manila A by shocking International Master Harshit Raja of University of Missouri-A in Board 4 play.

Bernardo, a member of the national para chess team that finished fifth in the FIDE Olympiad for People with Disability last year, finished with eight points out of a possible nine.

FEU Manila A, which also consists of Jeth Romy Morado, Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano, John Merill Jacutina, and alternate Kristian Glen Abuton, actually finished tied for seventh with National Technical University of Athens A, St. Louis University A and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology A with 6.5 points each.

After the tiebreakers have been done, FEU Manila A officially took the 10th spot.

Despite getting the short end of the tiebreaker, FEU coach Jayson Gonzales finds the finish a remarkable one.

"We are so fortunate despite of the pandemic the FEU Sports programs continues especially in Chess. We owe our success to FEU management," said Gonzales, himself a grandmaster in the game.

FEU Diliman B ended up 18th, FEU Diliman A 28th, FEU Manila C 39th, FEU Diliman C 54th, FEU Diliman D 73rd and FEU Manila D 77th.

Reigning UAAP MVP and Palawan Queens' Gambit star Shania Mae Mendoza, April Joy Claros, and Lemmuel Adena also put up impressive performances as well.

Women's International Master Mendoza finished with 7.5 points out of nine, while the 13-year-old Claros, went unbeaten with seven wins and two draws.

Adena then stunned GM Hovhannes Gabuzyan of University of Texas-Rio Grande B.

UTRG's Team A, however, would go on to win it all.

Up next for FEU, according to Gonzales, is the FIDE World University Online Chess Championship from March 13-27.

Meanwhile, University of Texas-Dallas A, coached by Grandmaster Ino Sadorra of the Manila Indios Braves, finished fourth in the tournament.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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