THIS year’s Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship, bigger and wider in scope, begins with the NCR leg on June 7 and 8 at the SM Megamall activity center to be followed by five other legs in Northern and Southern Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.
The circuit will include an additional leg in Cagayan de Oro, according to SNYACC tournament director Alexander Dinoy, who graced Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate with Jackie Ampil, social investment manager of Pilipinas Shell.
The event is open to children and young adults who are non-titled chess players. They will be divided into two categories: kiddies (aged 7 to 14) and juniors (aged 15 to 20).
For the first time in the 22-year history of the SNYACC, female players can advance to the grand finals.
The Southern Luzon leg is set June 21-22 at SM City Batangas and the Visayas leg on July 12-13 at SM City Consolacion in Cebu. Because of a huge field in Mindanao, it will hold two elimination legs on August 2-3 at SM City Cagayan de Oro and August 30-31 at SM City Davao.
The Northern Luzon leg is set on September 13-14 at the University of St. Louis in Tuguegarao. The top two finishers and the top female player in each leg will advance to the grand finals on October 11 and 12 at SM Megamall.
“We want to recognize the efforts of the girls. This time the girls can also qualify to the grand finals. We are mixing them with the boys,” said Ampil in the session presented by Accel, Shakey’s, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
Jesca Docena, one of the young female players and kiddies girls grand finals winner last year, was present in the same forum, and welcomed the opportunity to make it to the finals with the boys.
“It will be more challenging for us,” said Docena, seated beside NCR kiddies division grand finals winner Julius Gonzales.
The staging of this year’s SNYCAA coincides with the centennial anniversary of Shell companies in the Philippines.
“In line with our continuing commitment to nation-building, it is fitting to strengthen our focus on youth development through education, visual arts and sports like chess,” said Ampil.