JERISH John Velarde is hoping to be the first chess player to bring the gold medal to Lapu-Lapu City in the Palarong Pambansa. The Grade 4 student of Marie Ernestine School Lapu-Lapu City Campus star may be the youngest player to make the Palarong Pambansa chess competition, but it doesn’t stop him from aspiring harder to win a medal for Central Visayas and his school. “We are now in the thick of preparations, especially that all his school requirements are almost done and the school break will be next week. We are concentrating on his openings and some variations of Sicilian defense. Jerish is very excited to represent Cviraa,” said Velarde’s father John Velarde. The 10-year old Velarde finished with a silver medal behind John Lester Belano of Mandaue City in the Elementary Boys competition last year. This year, he will be joining Regina Catherine Quiñanola, Alphecca Gonzales,, Michael Cañizares, Krizal Gutang, Glybel Jane Quiñanola and Methusellah Hoban.