12-year-old Concio Jr wins Malaysia Chess Challenge
A 12-year-old boy from Dasmariñas, Cavite won the challengers section of the Malaysian Chess Festival playing at the same unforgiving pace that propelled him to win two other events in Kuala Lumpur.
Michael Concio Jr swept two Under-12 events before he topped the 12th Goldis Malaysia Chess Challenge with a score of 8.5/9. His only draw in the tournament - which ran from August 28 to September 3 - was from Gerald Ferriol.
"He was so happy," said Michael Concio Sr of his son, whom he spoke to after the Challenge ended. Concio calls his son "bunso" as two older sisters, who used to play for the UST chess team, are older. He learned the game at two years old, said his father, adding that his son used to join his sisters in playing chess.
While the Merdeka Day and Datu CC/Datu Yee Wai Fong are blitz and rapid events, Concio's foes were older, perhaps amateur or strong club players. He was ranked 21st in the Challenger but Concio literally plowed through them.
"We are happy with his result because he is slowly getting noticed," said the elder Concio. "But, we have to continue studying because there are lot of many strong young players.”
Daniel Quizon is among them. Concio and Quizon along with the Mordido brother and sister are some of those being honed in a program begun by Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga which is still being continued.
Before Barzaga's program, Concio said he sent his son to the late International Master Rudy Tan Cardoso for lessons before the Philippines' first chess star passed away in 2013.
A few months ago, Concio was only a silver medalist in the Palarong Pambansa and the national under-12 champ.
"Watch out for him. He will be the next Wesley So," said Joey Antonio, who tied for second and third with Emmanuel Senador in the 8th IGB International Seniors Open Chess Championship, of Concio.
The parallels are present. So was born in Bacoor, Cavite. At the age of 12 So dominated his age group and played against older foes which he defeated. He was the finalist in the national championship at the age of 14. He did not win that time but it started him on a path that made him at one point the world number two ranked player.
Now So is eighth in the world, playing for the US as he seeks to qualify for the world championship by rating or through the World Cup which starts tonight in Tbilisi, Georgia.