MARK Jay Bacojo and Christian Gian Karlo Arca made the country proud with a pair of feats that reverberated in the FIDE World Youth Chess Championships in Montesilvano, Italy.
Mr. Bacojo, 17, sealed his second International Master (IM) norm with still three rounds to go in the 11-round event in the premier Open Under-18 section where he has accumulated 6.5 points, which was good for a three-way logjam at second with Polish FIDE Master Tymon Czernek and Kazakh IM Aldiyar Ansat.
He shocked Armenian IM Emin Ohanyan in the eighth round and was praying for another miracle versus solo leader against IM Aleksey Grebnev, a Russian representing FIDE, in the ninth round at press time.
Mr. Bacojo, whose live rating is 2387, now has two IM results and would need to earn one more and breach the 2400-rating plateau to become a full-pledge IM.
Mr. Arca, 14, for his part, shocked the world by ruling the blitz section ahead of older, higher-rated foes.
The Panabo, Davao del Norte native and now Dasmariñas-based Mr. Arca finished with 8.5 points and finished ahead of Armenian FM Benik Agasarov, who had eight points, and Mr. Bacojo, who took third with 7.5 points.
Both Messrs. Bacojo and Arca are part of the star-studded Dasmariñas Chess Academy under Mayor Jenny Barzaga and Congressman Pidi Barzaga and coach FM Roel Abelgas that produced World Cuppers IMs Daniel Quizon and Michael Concio, Jr. — Joey Villar