BE like Wesley So — and more.
This is what Asian Youth 18-under chess champion John Marvin Miciano has on mind as he begins a long and difficult journey to become the country’s next grand master.
The 18-year-old pride of Davao City is willing to take the long route — or even the roads less travelled — to become one.
“Gusto ko po talagang maging GM — maging next Wesley So or Eugene Torre, kung pu-pwede. Yun po pangarap ko,” said Miciano, who guested in last Thursday’s 15th “Usapang Sports” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) at the National Press Club in Intramuros.
Miciano, who became the country’s youngest IM last year, said getting the required three GM norms will entail a lot of sacrifices, hard work and an enormous of money to sustain an ambitious campaign abroad.
“Gaya po ng alam natin lahat mahirap maging GM. Nagpapasalamat ako sa suporta ng magulang ko, pati na sa aking mga sponsors, gaya ng Go For Gold ni Sir Jeremy Go at PAGCOR,” added Miciano.
First stop in Miciano’s journey is the FIDE Asian Zone 3.3 championships scheduled April 6-16 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
The FIDE-rated event will be participated in by the region’s leading players, including top players from Southeast Asian powers Vietnam and Indonesia.
This will give Miciano the opportunity to show his wares against the best and possibly gain a GM norm and earn rating points.
Asked about So and his sudden transfer to the United States Chess Federation (USCF), Miciano said he hopes the govenrment and the private sector can work together and help players in need.
“Sana madami pang mga gaya ng Go for Gold at PAGCOR na handang tumulong sa aming mga chess players,” explained Miciano.
Go For Gold Philippines godfather Jeremy, for his part, Go expressed confidence that Miciano will perform well and even exceed expectations.
“Chess is one sport where Filipinos can excel. It is a test of mental strength. I think Marvin is one of our brightest young players who deserve our support,” said Go, who also appeared in the same weekly sports forum supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and National Press Club (NPC) and shown on Facebook live via Glitter Livestream.
“I wish Marvin well,”” added Go, who also formally welcomed Miciano to Go For Gold Philippines’ stable of champions that included Asian Games skateboarding gold medalist Margielyn Didal, two-time men’s triathlon SEA Games champion Nikko Huelgas, cycling hero Rex Krog and the world champion Philippine Canoe Kayak and Dragon boat team.

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