John Marvin Miciano of Go For Gold Philippines will begin his quest for a grandmaster norm on Tuesday in the Eastern Asia Chess Championship in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The 18-year-old Asian Youth chess champion is upbeat in the Fide-rated tournament that will run until April 16, saying it would allow him the opportunity to take a step closer to becoming the country’s next GM.

Miciano, the youngest International Master, will be backed by Go For Gold in his hunt to secure the three GM norms necessary to follow the footsteps of chess whiz Wesley So.

“I need to compete in more international tournaments with highly-rated players and I’m hoping to get my first GM norm here in Mongolia,’’ said Miciano.

The chess prodigy from Davao City missed the GM norm by just 0.5 points when he placed 12th out of 242 participants in the 22nd Hogeschool Zeeland Tournament in Vlissingen, Netherlands in August last year.

“When I saw his credentials, I knew he has great potential to become a GM,’’ said Go For Gold godfather Jeremy Go. “He deserves our support.’’

Miciano also finished 11th overall out of 105 chessers in the Open International De Sitges in Spain where majority of the entries were GMs and Ims.

In the ongoing Mongolia meet, the Philippine junior chess champion will play nine rounds in the Fide Zone 3.3 tourney against Asia’s top players, including GM from Vietnam and Indonesia.

Aside from Miciano, Go For Gold already has a stable of champions in skateboarder Margielyn Didal, the Philippine dragonboat team from the Philippine Canoe-Kayak Dragonboat Federation, cycling hero Rex Luis Krog and reigning Southeast Asian Games men’s triathlon champion Nikko Huelgas.

Go For Gold is also supporting national athletes in wrestling, sepak takraw, the Philippine Air Force volleyball squad and the San Juan Knights-Go For Gold in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

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