MANILA, Philippines – Michael Concio Jr finally got a career breakthrough when he ruled the 2nd Eastern Asia Juniors and Girls Championship in Tanauan, Batangas on Sunday, December 15.
Concio, 14, drew Daniel Tobing of Indonesia in a 49-move Ruy Lopez in the 9th and last round, giving him 7 points and an International Master title.
Half-a-point behind were national junior champion Jeth Romy Morado and John Marvin Miciano, the top seed.
Ummi Fisabilillah of Indonesia, rebounding from a first-round upset by Rizalyn Tejada, stepped on the gas to dominate the girls division.
Fisabilillah showed the form that gave her a silver medal in rapid chess of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games by scoring 7.5 points, a point above second-placer Philippine bet Allaney Jia Doroy,
Concio made the finals of the 2017 national championship at the age of 12 but his progress was stalled as his illustrious Dasmariñas teammate, Daniel Quizon, made big strides and became an International Master by winning the event last year in Seoul.
"I just persisted in training and study,'' said Concio, a 9th grader at the Dasmarinas Integrated High School.
Dasmariñas coach Roel Abelgas said the team’s elite players had a 28-day training session in Mendez, Cavite.
Concio is the second International Master from the Dasmariñas stable overseen by Cavite Rep .Elpidio Barzaga for nearly 5 years.
Quizon, who upset former world blitz champion Le Quang Liem in the SEA Games only to fall in the last round, scored 6 points for 6th place.
Kylen Joy Mordido, another Dasmariñas bet who earned a Woman's International Master title by winning the same event last year, finished 3rd this time.
The venue was the First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities School in Tanauan, owned by Saturnino Belen Jr, the publisher of the defunct Chess Asia Magazine. – Rappler.com