Albay chess prodigy Bince Rafael Operiano has returned to the Philippines victorious with a trophy, gold, silver, and two bronze medals from the 6th East Asia Youth Chess Championship in Thailand.
The 9-year-old Grade 3 pupil from Busac’s San Isidro Elementary School in Oas, Albay province was one of the 29 contenders from different countries in the chess tournament held in Bangkok from November 4 to 12, 2022.
Bince was able to secure the following wins for the Philippines:
- trophy and gold medal as champion in Standard Rapid Blitz Under 10
- silver medal as 1st runner-up winner in Standard (Team) Under 10
- bronze as 2nd runner-up winner in Blitz (Team)
- bronze as 2nd runner-up winner in Rapid (Team) Under 10
Operiano was discovered at 6 years old after he won the National Age Chess Group Kiddie category held at the Albay Astrodome before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
He started learning to play chess at 5 years old as a father-son bonding experience.
Bince’s parents, Rosemary Roblico Operiano and Ben Operiano, a security guard, sought for sponsors for his trip to Thailand as they could not afford the plane tickets and other expenses.
After sourcing funds from friends and local officials, and outpouring help from others, they were able to send Bince to Thailand for the competition.
In a Facebook post on November 13, Albay 3rd District Representative Fernando Cabredo shared, “Due to limited funds and while waiting for the plane ticket sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, Bince and his father spent 3 nights at the airport with those benches as their bed. The little boy had to travel first to Thailand without his father, Mr. Ben Operiano.”
“Bince braved the first game with no parent around to cheer him on. He felt pressured and lost to his opponents in the first games.” Cabredo added.
“Bince has made everyone back in their hometown proud. He is set to be conferred a National Master (NM) title when he turns 10,” Cabredo wrote.
Filipinos making names in the world of chess include Janelle Frayna, the 1st Filipino female Chess Grandmaster, Asia’s first Grandmaster Eugene Torre, and Cavite-born U.S. Chess Champion and the Chesscom Global Champion, Wesley So.
SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Bince Operiano, the new youth chess champion from Albay in the Philippines!
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