Mel Laceste and his wife, Maria Teresa, greeting their victorious son, Loren, as he arrives at YVR on July 11 after winning the Canadian Youth Chess Championship held July 6 – 9 in Richmond Hill, Ontario. (Photo: Capilano U) While most immigrant families take years to accomplish something, the Lacestes’ of North Vancouver were unique in that less than two years after settling in Canada, their son Loren became Canada’s Champion Youth Chess Player and will represent the country in the World Youth Chess Championship this November in Brazil. Loren’s win is another addition to his winning streak having garnered numerous prizes since he was child in the Philippines. (SeeSidebar).
The Lacestes’ are from Damortes, Santo Tomas in La Union and come from a family of chess players. Loren is the middle of three brothers.
“Ako ang nagturo sa kanya noong bata pa siya at ako naman ay natuto sa Tatay ko.” Loren’s father Melchor (Mel) told Philippine Asian News Today (PNT) by phone from Capilano College where he works as a Custodian. “Tinuruan ko silang lahat at nong natoto na ay hindi na ako nananalo.”
By the time he was nine he was the Philippines’ national champion and went on to win more. While Loren went to Richmond Hill, Ontario as B.C. champion and was very much an underdog. He was ranked seventh at the start of the tournament for the under 18 year olds.
“ It was the toughest I’ve played so far,” Loren said of his recen twin. “Pero, na outsmart ko yong kalaban ko – ang international master Arthur Calugar. However, in the final game, which lasted over four hours, his Ontario opponent used an unusual opening that could have been devastating for the unwary. “It’s not common and I think he was a bit too confident. But I’ve seen him use it before and I was a little bit ready for it, “ said Loren, who recently graduated with honors from Carson Graham secondary in North Vancouver.
“Sana ho matulungan kami a ating mga kababayan para sa travel costs to Brazil at makabili ng laptop for Loren to use for chess game analysis of his opponent.” Mel appeals to his countrymen.
Please contact Mel at or call him at 604-339- 4079 for donations.
“ Siya na lang ang pupunta at kung pwede sanang masamahan ko para may mag asikaso sa kanya habang naglalro,” dagdag pa ni Mel. Loren is now training for his next big match by playing chess online and he will tune up his game at a couple of local B.C. tournaments to be held at the end of this month and at Thanksgiving. “Pagkatapos ng championship,balak niyang susunod sa Kuya Lehi niya na mag-missionary work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Then he’ll go to university to study applied sciences.