March 18, 2009 1:10 P.M
Every last quarter of the year, young chess players of varrying age, size and color in this side of the planet flocked to the SM Davao, Ecoland, Davao City to locked horns against each other over the 64 squares board in the Southern Mindanao leg of the Shell National Youth Active Chess Championships. The competition is held for two consecutive days among the almost 1000 participants divided into kiddies and junior categories for a chance to qualify in the Grand Finals in Manila.
I had the occasion of accompanying my daughters during the 2006 and 2008 edition and it was really a lot o fun seeing all those young chessplayers accompanied by their proud and supportive parents. It was also an opportunity for me to be reunited with my chess playing contemporaries during my college days whom i have not seen for a long time tagging along their respective kids just like me. The first time around, my youngest kid Florence Faith was adjudged as the youngest participant being only five years old at that time. I was very proud and happy for her. However during the first round she was paired against the top seed and was mated in just a couple of moves. To add insult to injury, she was teased by her fellow players prompting her to cry. She ran towards me and would not play anymore. If she did not return she would not be illegible to received the award. It took me a while to comfort her and eventually i was able to persuade her to play in the next round. The rest was history..