Daluz rules NCAA juniors chess

Published July 18, 2021, 4:17 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Christian Mark Daluz of season host Letran completed a perfect campaign in the juniors division as he downed Lyceum of the Philippines University’s Leonel Escote in the finals of the 96th NCAA chess tournament Saturday, July 17.

Daluz, a 19-year-old FIDE Master, went undefeated in five matches of the online event to highlight his high school career.

He defeated last season’s MVP Gal Brien Palasigue of San Beda in the elimination round, then dominated University of Perpetual Help System DALTA’s Jerome Angelo Aragones in the Round of 16 before trouncing Arellano University’s National Master Jasper Faeldonia in the quarterfinals.

In the semifinals, Daluz kept his impressive performance by beating Paul Matthew Llanillo of the Junior Pirates to forge a showdown with Escote for the gold medal in the online meet.

A former MVP and a two-time NCAA champion, Daluz has represented the country and won six medals in the 20th ASEAN Age Group Chess Championship in Mandalay, Myanmar two years ago.

In the bronze medal match Friday, Jose Rizal University’s Melson Gallo bested Llanillo to finish third place.

The senior’s competition, meanwhile, started Sunday televised over GTV channel 11 of giant broadcast network GMA-7, the new partner of the oldest collegiate league in the country.

Aside from chess, the league already had online tournaments in taekwondo featuring the events of poomsae and the new speed kicking in partnership with the Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA).