Apayao pride Woman National Master Mhage Sebastian clinched second place in the National Age Group Chess Championship for 18 years and under Sunday at the Robinsons Place in Malolos, Bulacan.
Sebastian won her last two games to finish with nine full points on eight wins, two draws and a lone dfeat to secure a spot to the Eastern Asia Youth Chess Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Flora, Apayao, the province’s first WNM and team captain of the Far Eastern University High School Girls Team, defeated Patricia Illeja Bernardo and Shaina Magne Romanillos in the 10th and 11th round to secure her place among the top three.
The top three finishers of the tournament staged from July 19-24 qualify to the Bangkok tilt.
WNM Lexie Grace Hernandez of Pampanga won the event with 10 points including the sixth round win over the Apayao pride whom she lost to in December of last year with the latter winning the national junior chess crown.
WNM Rinoa Mariel Sadey completed the Philippine 18 under team after securing third place. The Nueva Ecija native was actually tied with Sebastian with nine points, but the Apayao native won their match.
Newly minted lawyer Jerzon Sebastian in a Facebook page expressed delight with the outcome of the tournament.
“Although WNM Mhage settled for 2nd place and failed to add another championship trophy in her long list of chess accomplishments, still we are so fulfilled and thankful, kasi kahit mag-isa lang siya na nakapunta para sumabak sa labanan ng almost a week, pasok pa rin sa top two (because she went to the tournament on her own where she competed for almost a week, but then she still made it to the top two),” said the Sebastian patriarch.
The father, who took over the daughter’s chess clinic in Flora, said they are now preparing for the upcoming National Youth Chess Championships Grand Finals the younger Sebastian, Ghierzen Lhou, is a finalist.
“We will prepare for that and hopefully we will be able to accompany (Zen) since the tournament is exhausting for the players. Praying also that Mhage and Zen shall get the number one spots.” he added.
He added: “Thank you God for this another big favor and to all who helped and prayed our daughter, a big thank you.”
He also thanked the family of Roberto Racasa and family who accompanied Mhage Sebastian for the whole duration of the tournament.
Sebastian thanked FEU coach and women’s national team coach GM Jayson Gonzalesas well as Flora mayor Natividad for the successful staging of the tournament after two years under the Covid-19 pandemic. Pigeon Lobien