Kapalong kid defeats Vietnam champ

Dec. 15, 2008

Davao City — Viewers clapped as John Ray Batucan offered a handshake to Ruel Bucaling, Jr. indicating the end of round 4 of the recent 1st Mindanao Children’s Games-Chess Tournament in SM City Davao giving another point to Bucaling.

Bucaling, 12, of Kapalong, offered a draw in the middle of the game but was rejected by Batucan, 12, of Toril who just won the boys 12-under category of the 9th Asean Age-Group Chess Championships held in Vietnam.

This paved the way to Bucaling’s victorious 6.5 points in the 12-under boys category of the 7-round tournament.

Bucaling is a member of the Sports Development Program of the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte called AGR KIDS (Agenda for Games and Recreation: Kabataan Ilayo sa Drugs). Other AGR KIDS participants: Renie Relliquete, Jr., 8 of Kapalong (8-under boys category); Rhonnel Bucaling, 7 of Kapalong (8-under boys category); and Camil Thea Brucal, 6 of Sto. Tomas (8-under girls category) brought home 1 silver and 2 bronze, respectively, making Team Davao del Norte as the 1st runner up next to Doa Pilar Learning Center.

Ramil Brucal, 38, father of bronze medalist Camil, said that their participation in the 1st Mindanao Children’s Games was a blessing in disguise for his family. His wife, Candelaria Brucal, 37, is scheduled to leave for China to teach on the day of the culmination but rebooked the said flight to see their kids play on their first tournament. Micael Neil especially Camil learned how to play chess when the AGR KIDS conducted a month-long chess clinic in Sto. Tomas.

“I hope the province will hold more chess clinics for the kids to monitor their progress,” Candelaria said.

Talking about chess as a relevant sport to the growth of the children, Philippine Sports Commissioner Vicente Uy said that chess will make the children realize the importance of making decisions for decisions affect the outcome of their games.

The 1st Mindanao Children’s Games was made possible through the concerted efforts of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Sports for Peace Mindanao, Inc., Department of Education, Davao Association of Colleges and Schools (DACS), and Archdiocesan Center for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue. (PGO-ID/PIA XI)

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