In the 2023 Palarong Pambansa standard chess competitions, Region 4A (Calabarzon) achieved an impressive sweep in the secondary division led by Mark Jay Bacojo who asserted his dominance in the boys’ category, and Franchesca Largo who commanded the girls’ category.

The thrilling finals showdown took place Friday afternoon at the Community Hall of the Marikina Hotel and Convention Center in Marikina City.

Bacojo, a FIDE Master, exhibited his prowess by securing a flawless victory in all seven rounds, amassing a total of seven points to clinch his third gold medal at the event. Meanwhile, Jan Clifford Labog from the Cagayan Valley Region secured the silver medal with a score of 6.0 points, while Rigil Kent Pahamtang, also representing Calabarzon, secured the bronze with 5.5 points.

Bacojo’s achievements did not stop there. He teamed up with Pahamtang to secure the gold medal for the team championship, earning Bacojo his fourth gold in total.

Earlier in the week, Bacojo had already claimed gold medals in both the individual and team blitz chess events, further cementing his exceptional skills.

On the girls’ side, Franchesca Largo emerged victorious in the seven-round standard chess event, finishing with a score of 5.5 points. She shared this score with April Joy Claros of the National Capital Region and Jamelin Ruth Lim of Region 6. Largo’s stellar performance allowed her to secure the gold medal after a tie-break, with Claros earning the silver and Lim attaining the bronze.

While the girls’ team gold went to the National Capital Region, Calabarzon secured the silver, and Region 12 took home the bronze.

In the elementary division, Phil Martin Casiguran from NCR claimed the gold in standard chess for boys, accumulating 6.0 points. Quarl Maverick Vera Cruz earned the silver with 5.5 points, and Jerald Mariano secured the bronze with the same score.

Iana Angela Sotaridona of Region 6 emerged triumphant in the elementary girls’ division with an impressive score of 6.5 points. Lila Alyssa Serina secured second place with 5.5 points, while Stephanie Jabagat took third place with 5.0 points.

In the team competitions, NCR secured the boys’ team gold, while Region 6 claimed the girls’ team gold, showcasing their collective talent and determination. (ai/mnm)