FILIPINO chess wizard Jasper Concepcion Faeldonia finished tied for first in the 35th Singapore National Age Group Chess Championships last Sunday at the Kallang Theatre at the Singapore Sports Hub. The 14-year-old Faeldonia, a grade 8 student of Arellano University — under the watchful eye of National Master Rudy Ibañez and Odiongan, Romblon mayor Trina Firmalo-Fabic — defeated Fook Weng Pheng of Malaysia in the eight and final round. Faeldonia needed two hours and 30 minutes to beat his last round opponent using the black side of the Chebanenko Slav in 35 pushes.
The Manila-based Faeldonia who hails from Odiongan, Romblon is the 2018 Philippine Age Group Under 14-champion. He tied with top seed Sean Christian Goh of Singapore for a total of seven points in eight outings. Faeldonia’s Singapore stint is supported by Mayor Fabic, Arellano University, Manila councilor Anton Capistrano, sportsman Reli de Leon, eight-time Illinois champion International Master Angelo Young, national master Edgardo Garma, seven-time Philippine executive champion Dr. Jenny Mayor, Arena Grandmaster and Fide Master elect Robert Suelo Jr. Arellano University head coach national master Rudy Ibañez says, “God bless Jasper. Its a good sign to keep your nerves of steel specially this is a campaign outside our country.” — Marlon Bernadino