Far Eastern University (FEU) reclaimed the title it last won four seasons ago by dominating the competition in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 86 Women’s Chess Championship last November 19, 2023 at the FEU Tech Gym.

It was FEU’s sixth women’s title with the latest coming way back in Season 82 before National University (NU) took a two-year reign.

Woman National Master Mary Joy Tan, who spearheaded FEU’s championship run, bagged the MVP title along with a gold medal on Board 2.

UAAP Season 86 Women’s Chess MVP Mary Joy Tan

This season, the Lady Tamaraws went undefeated up until Round 11 where they bowed to De La Salle University followed by another loss in the succeeding round to NU, where they only needed a 2-2 draw to clinch the championship.

FEU head coach Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales said the loss against NU was disappointing considering how determined they were to win the title that day.

He shared that when everyone saw Mary Joy was winning her match against her NU opponent, the rest of his wards apparently relaxed that led to the loss.

“I told them afterwards that it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice to become a champion. I had to make them realize that they lost not because their opponent was strong. It was mainly because of their attitude.”  The Lady Tamaraws virtually clinched the title after defeating University of the Philippines, 3-1, during the second to the last day of the competition. 

The dethroned NU finished second while Ateneo de Manila University took third.

It was a job best done for the Lady Tamaraws as Woman National Master Mhage Sebastian also pocketed the Rookie of the Year award and the gold medal on Board 3.

Rounding out FEU’s medalists are bronze medalists Rizalyn Tejada (Board 5) and Shaina Romanillos (Board 6).

The FEU Men’s Chess Team missed out on a podium finish after struggling in the second round of the tournament.

Meanwhile, FEU Diliman completed a dominant display in the UAAP Chess Championship after sweeping the high school titles last.

The FEU-D Girls’ Team secured the title as early as the penultimate round while the Boys’ Team had to take over during the title showdown with University of Santo Tomas in the final round to finally complete another double championship in the high school divisions for the second straight season. FEU-D Head coach Jayson Gonzales had a sigh of relief after a close campaign this season compared to the previous one where his team was the runaway champion.

National Master Franklin Andes won the Season 86 MVP citation and the Board 1 gold medal thanks to an undefeated streak of six wins and a draw this season.

Outside of Andes, all other FEU-D players won a medal with National Master Jerish John Velarde, National Master Oscar Cantela, Lemuel Adena, and Arena FIDE Master Ritchie Abeleda all winning golds on Board 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively, while Zeus Paglinawan settled for a silver on Board 6.

In the Girls’ Division, FEU-D’s Woman National Master Ruelle Canino, who won all but one match this season, brought home the gold medal on Board 1 along with the MVP award.

FEU-D once again dominated the medal tally as all six players clinched one each with Woman National Master Samantha Umayan (Board 2 gold medal), Woman National Master April Joy Claros (Board 3 bronze medal), Woman National Master Bonjoure Suyamin (Board 4 silver medal), Kate Orzido (Board 5 gold medal), and Arleah Sapuan (Board 6 gold medal).

Far Eastern University Women’s Chess Team
Woman National Master Mary Joy Tan (MVP)
Woman National Master Mhage Sebastian (ROY)
Woman National Master Bea Mendoza
Woman National Master Vic Glysen Derotas
Woman National Master Rizalyn Jasmine Tejada
Shaina Magne Romanillos

FEU Diliman Boys’ Chess Team
NM Franklin Loyd Andes (MVP)
NM Oscar Joseph Cantela
Lemmuel Jay Adena
AFM Ritchie James Abelada
Zeus Alexis Paulinawan

FEU Diliman Girls’ Chess Team
WNM Ruelle Canino (MVP)
WNM Bonjoure Fille Suyamin
WNM Samantha Umayan
Kate Nicole Ordizo
Arleah Cassandra Sapuan

Head Coach: GM Jayson Gonzales
Assistant Coaches:
NM John Jasper Laxamana
Enrica Armenta
Consultant: WGM Janelle Mae Frayna