By Kristel Satumbaga

Alekhine Nouri and Bernadette Galas ruled their respective divisions to strengthen their bid of keeping their place in the national pool in the Philippine Sports Commission-National Chess Federation of the Philippines selection process at the PACE headquarters in Quezon City on Friday.

(Bernadette Galas and Alekhine Nouri (NCFP Images)

(Bernadette Galas and Alekhine Nouri (NCFP Images)

Nouri, a FIDE Master and the youngest participant at 14 years old, finished with seven points alongside International Master Jan Emmanuel Garcia but ended up with the higher tiebreak to clinch the crown.

Galas, a many-time Olympiad veteran, emerged solo champion in the women’s side with nine points, half a point ahead of Marie Antoinette San Diego and Allaney Jia Doroy with 8.5 points apiece.

Nouri and Galas will only need to finish solidly in the second and final round set Feb. 24 to March 1 also at the PACE for them to hang on to their spots in the national squad.

It was a sensational triumph for Nouri, who bested older and more seasoned foes.

Nouri is one of the country’s brightest hopes to become a Grandmaster considering that he is still young.

The Far Eastern University-Diliman sixth-grader was once captured the imagination of Philippine chess after he became the youngest FIDE Master in the world at only seven years old in 2013.

But he was barely heard from there until he won a tournament in Malaysia two years ago and came one win shy of snaring another also in Malaysia last year before ending up fifth and best-placed Filipino eventually.

His recent feat, however, could put him back into his long-awaited goal to become a GM.


Source: Manila Bulletin