The Week in Film: “Deadpool's Double Feature,” “Porco Rosso,” “Wrestling Jerusalem” and “Refugee Kids” – Nooga.com


The Week in Film is a column dedicated to bringing awareness to award-winning films, special movie screenings, rereleases, limited-distribution runs and avant cinema that should be seen in theaters to be properly appreciated.

Deadpool’s Double Feature
Who would have thought that the first “Deadpool” would have been such a huge critical and financial success? But in the wake of its staggering returns, Ryan Reynolds is back in the red suit in “Deadpool 2” to fight alongside Domino (Zazie Beetz) and a host of other mutants in an effort to stop Cable (Josh Brolin) from killing a young mutant. You can expect time travel, dozens of 4th-wall-breaking jokes, over the top violence and the creation of the mutant group X-Force. If you were a fan of the first film, then you’re no doubt going to love the wisecracking shenanigans of the sequel. And if you want a bit of a refresher course (or if you haven’t seen the first one yet), some local theaters have got you covered. You’ll be able to watch both movies back-to-back on Thursday and have the chance to get both a free poster and a collectible figure if you happen to see it at an AMC theater that offers the film in Dolby Cinema, IMAX, BigD or PRIME. The screening times are slightly different for the shows so make sure that you check in advance.

When: Thursday, May 17
Where: Regal Hamilton Place 8, AMC Classic Majestic 12, Cleveland UEC Theatres 14
Rating: R

Porco Rosso
From Studio Ghibli, the iconic animation studio that brought you “Spirited Away” and “Princess Mononoke,” and legendary director Hayao Miyazaki, “Porco Rosso” comes to fill your hearts with images of a flying ace-turned-bounty-hunter, the curse that transforms him into a pig and the resulting adventure that involves an aspiring airplane designer named Fio and a lounge singer named Gina.  Beautifully animated by hand, this film is a treasure of high-flying excitement and fully realized characters. Miyazaki’s movies are often regarded as some of the greatest animated films ever created, and “Porco Rosso” is no exception. Set high above the coastal towns of the Adriatic Sea, the film boasts gorgeous visuals and a clever story that will bombard your mind with outrageous situations and heartwarming sentiment.

When: Sunday, May 20
Where: Regal Hamilton Place 8, AMC Chattanooga 18
Rating: PG

Wrestling Jerusalem
Now more than ever, the situations and issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have become topics for global discussion. And as a way of trying to get to the heart of these difficult ideas, writer-actor Aaron Davidman, along with filmmaker Dylan Kussman, adapts his acclaimed one-man show,”Wrestling Jerusalem,” into a film that finds him taking on the roles of 17 different characters as he susses out the motives, desires, sadness and confusion that surrounds this brutal dispute. Using minimal backdrops and locations, Davidman and Kussman create a bridge between the stage and cinema and use its fluid constructs to heighten the emotional complexity of their story. Using a subtle theatricality, they explore religious motivations, politics and issues of social identity to shine a light on this turbulent landscape.

When: Saturday, May 19
Where: The Palace Theater
Rating: Not rated

Refugee Kids: One Small School Takes on the World
Directed by Renée Silverman and Peter Miller, “Refugee Kids: One Small School Takes on the World” is a documentary that follows a New York City summer program for children seeking asylum from some truly desperate conditions in various war-torn parts of the world. This is their story of overcoming hardships and violence while trying to find a home in the United States. By humanizing the politics and governmental complexities that threaten to engulf the lives of these children, the film shows us that, even when we think we are separated by circumstance and geography, we are all still trying to find a place to call our own.

Accompanying this screening at the Heritage House Arts & Civic Center will be “The Cummington Story,” a selection of the “Projections of America/The American Scene” film series which was a propaganda effort by the United States to sell the idea of life in the US to foreign countries affected by World War II. “The Cummington Story” is the 14th film of the collection (out of 26) and shows the transition of a group of refugees as they set up a life in a small Massachusetts town at the end of the war.

When: Thursday, May 17
Where: Heritage House Arts & Civic Center
Rating: Not rated

Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.



British rugby player from Durham team dies in Sri Lanka – BBC News


Colombo

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ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Image caption

A 26-year-old man died in hospital in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo

A British amateur rugby player has died and another is critically ill after complaining of breathing difficulties on returning from a nightclub in Sri Lanka.

The pair had been touring the country with Durham-based Clems Pirates RFC when they visited the club in Colombo.

Sri Lanka Police said a 26-year-old man had died in hospital at 12:00 local time on Sunday.

A team mate is said by police to be in a “very” critical condition.

The team arrived in Sri Lanka on Wednesday and began the tour with a game against Ceylonese Rugby and Football Club (CR & FC) in Colombo.

According to the police, British players went to a nightclub after the match and returned to their hotel in the early hours of Sunday.

The two players complained of breathing difficulties to the hotel management at about 10:00 on Sunday.

One died shortly after being admitted to hospital less than two hours later.

‘Families supported’

Police said a post-mortem examination would be carried out later.

A police spokesman told the BBC: “Both men had returned from a nightclub and had complained of breathing difficulties, and they were admitted to the hospital, one died and another is in very critical condition.”

Durham City Rugby Club, which oversees rugby union “veterans” team the Pirates, said in a statement the pair suffered “non-rugby related breathing problems” and were admitted to hospital.

“Subsequently, one of the two has died and one remains in hospital,” the statement said.

Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union director Rohan Gunerathne said the organisation was looking into the matter, but confirmed nothing happened on the rugby pitch during the match.

A British High Commission spokesman in Colombo said both families were being supported, and they were in contact with the Sri Lankan medical services.



Why Aren't NFL Safeties Getting Signed? – Deadspin


Photo: Wesley Hitt (Getty)

Eric Reid’s collusion grievance has been in the news, but Reid’s specific situation has overshadowed a rather curious offseason phenomenon involving him and his entire position group: NFL teams aren’t keen on signing free-agent safeties.

Six of the first 60 names on NFL.com’s list of the top 101 free agents remain unsigned. One is cornerback Bashaud Breeland (No. 15), who failed a physical after coming to terms with the Panthers at the start of free agency. Another is wideout Dez Bryant (No. 16), whose production slipped last year before he became a cap casualty with the Cowboys. A third is defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (No. 35), a run-stuffer who no longer fit the Colts’ new defensive scheme and was cut after free agency’s musical chairs began. The other three are safeties: Kenny Vaccaro (No. 25), Reid (No. 26), and Tre Boston (No. 60). There hasn’t been much of a market for any of them, though Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported this morning that Boston is scheduled to visit the Colts. What gives? Jeremy Fowler of ESPN took a stab at explaining this on Thursday, but allow me to dig into it, too.

The circumstances in Reid’s case are obvious. Teams don’t want much to do with Reid because of his outspokenness on behalf of his friend and former 49ers teammate, Colin Kaepernick, in addition to his consistent willingness last season to follow Kaepernick’s lead by protesting during the national anthem. That the Bengals reportedly told Reid last month during a free-agent visit that they would prohibit any protests certainly gives some juice to Reid’s grievance case, even if his collusion allegation might ultimately make for a harder sell.

Also, as For The Win noted last week, Vaccaro demonstrated during the anthem at least once last season, and Boston had once tried to organize some kind of team protest after the 2016 shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott by Charlotte police, when Boston was still with the Panthers. But the NFL isn’t blackballing every player who took a knee during the anthem at one point or another, and there are additional complicating factors here for all three players, too.

Skill set

Vaccaro and Reid, in particular, thrive better as box safeties who do best playing closer to the line of scrimmage to contain the run, or to slide into a weakside inside linebacker (WILL) spot in nickel and dime packages. Strong safeties are typically less valuable to teams because they’re not as versatile in coverage downfield—an important distinction in a league where teams typically use three-or-more receiver sets and increasingly line up running backs as receivers.

A number of NFL teams also like their safeties to be interchangeable to help disguise coverages. This is where things get tricky for Boston. He’s coming off a season with the Chargers in which he had eight pass break-ups and five interceptions, both career highs. But, as Boston told Sporting News’ Alex Marvez back in March, talks between his camp and the Chargers hit a wall because “they think I’m more of a strong safety-type of player.” And Pro Football Focus ranked Boston 42nd among safeties in tackle efficiency. The general feeling—Reid’s prominent status as a protestor notwithstanding—is that this isn’t an elite-level group.

“I think it may have something to do with the caliber of players available,” Joel Corry, a former agent who now analyzes contracts and the salary cap for CBSSports.com, told me. “I suspect free safeties would have fared better because of the coverage ability.”

Valuation

It’s not known exactly what Vaccaro, Reid, and Boston have demanded from teams, but Boston gave some indication of what he might be seeking in his interview with Marvez: “We’re closer to veteran minimum than we are to the $7-, $8-, $9 million players we wanted to be two months ago or even eight months ago,” Boston said. Depending on each player’s specific asking price, they could be overinflating their value.

Consider: Kurt Coleman, who turns 30 in July, signed with the Saints before the start of free agency for a max of three years, with an average annual value of $5.45 million, and $6.2 million in guarantees. Soon after free agency began, Tyrann Mathieu, age 26, signed with the Texans for just one year and $7 million, with $4.5 million guaranteed. Then, one week into free agency, 29-year-old Morgan Burnett inked a deal with the Steelers—who will likely drop him down to play WILL on passing downs, to replace Ryan Shazier—with a three-year max, $4.8 million in AAV, and $4.25 million guaranteed. Now look at the deals some of the league’s premiere hybrid safety-linebackers have gotten: The Rams’ Mark Barron, age 29, is due to earn $10 million this season, on a deal he signed in 2016; and the Cardinals’ Deone Bucannon, age 25, had his fifth-year option picked up for 2018, at a price of $8.718 million.

Like Bucannon, Reid (27 years old) and Vaccaro (26) are former first-round picks. They both played last season on their fifth-year options, which earned them $5.676 million. Boston, 25, was a fourth-round pick who was cut after 2016 and made $900,000 last year on a one-year prove-it deal. But this year’s market set the bar for all three of them much lower.

Ripple effects

The Giants weren’t going to pursue ex-Dolphins safety Michael Thomas in free agency, even after they hired ex-Dolphins defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo. Then the market came in soft, and they got Thomas at two years max with $1.5 million in guarantees.

Thomas is more of a free safety who can be paired next to Landon Collins, an impactful strong safety. Also, Thomas demonstrated during the anthem throughout the 2017 season. Yet that didn’t keep the Giants from signing him, albeit for far less than what Vaccaro, Reid, and Boston likely want.

Timing

Last Tuesday was the deadline for any free agents who sign with other teams to count as part of next year’s formula for compensatory draft picks. That, too, could have contributed to the delay some teams may have had in signing Vaccaro, Reid, and Boston. But none have signed in the days since the deadline came and went, either.

Oversaturation

Jason Fitzgerald, the founder of overthecap.com, told me the league may have overinvested at safety, which created fewer opportunities for Vaccaro, Reid, and Boston to sell themselves. “In looking at the market there are 25 safeties who make $5 million or more (annually), and that covers 19 teams,” Fitzgerald said. “Nineteen of those deals were signed in 2016 or 2017, so maybe the destinations just were not there.”

The draft

NFL teams notoriously want to control costs, and this year’s draft class was well-stocked at safety, with eight safeties going in the first three rounds. That’s eight young players with up to four years of cost certainty (because of the rookie wage scale), and possibly five years for the three first-rounders, who all have fifth-year team options.

The franchise tag

The player who best stood a chance at re-setting the market was Rams free safety Lamarcus Joyner. But on March 6, the last day teams had a chance to do so, the Rams placed the franchise tag on Joyner. He will earn $11.287 million fully guaranteed this season. The rest of the safety market just never materialized from there.

Boston’s flirtation with the Colts could portend a thaw in what’s been a frozen market for free-agent safeties. Reid’s is a unique case, given the circumstances. But it still seems likely Vaccaro and Boston will land somewhere eventually, just for way less money than they’d probably hoped.



NCAA Men's Tennis Championships: UCLA, USC advance to Round of 16 – Pac-12.com


The field for the 2018 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships has been whittled down to 16 teams, and UCLA and USC are among those still in the hunt for a national championship.

[Related: 2018 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships bracket (NCAA.com)]

UCLA

UCLA, the tournament’s No. 2 seed, put together a 4-0 sweep of San Diego on Sunday in Los Angeles, advancing the Bruins to their 42nd consecutive Round of 16. Not bad, fellas!

The Bruins got off to a slow start against the Toreros, allowing USD’s top doubles pair on court 1 to take down UCLA’s duo of Martin Redlicki and Evan Zhu, 6-0. With the doubles point on the line, the Bruins ground out wins on courts 2 and 3. Austin Rapp and Keegan Smith beat their opponents on court 2, 6-2, and Maxime Cressy and Bryce Pereira finished off their match on court 3, 6-3.

With the doubles point in hand, UCLA then went to work in singles play. Martin Redlicki made up for his doubles loss by securing the team’s second point of the day on court 1 with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over USD’s August Holmgren. Keegan Smith, who had already tallied a doubles win, got it done in singles, too. The freshman took down Nico Borter, 6-4, 6-0, bringing the Bruins to a 3-0 lead. They just needed one more point to move to the next round, and Maxime Cressy made it happen. Here’s how his 6-3, 6-3 match came to a close:

UCLA faces the 15th-seeded Michigan Wolverines in the Round of 16 on Friday at 6 a.m. PT at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

USC

USC had a sweep of its own on Sunday, knocking out Harvard in Los Angeles to advance to the Round of 16.

Courts 1 and 2 did the heavy lifting for the Trojans in doubles play, with Jack Jaede and Laurens Verboven posting a 6-2 win on court 1 followed by a 7-6 (2) tiebreak victory by Brandon Holt and Riley Smith on court 2.

Verboven continued his winning ways in singles play as the first Trojan to take down his Harvard opponent on court 4. Just minutes after Verboven’s 6-1, 6-1 win, his doubles teammate Jaede followed suit with a 6-0, 6-2 win on court 3.

USC just needed one more point to secure the sweep but had the other four singles matches in three sets. Daniel Cukierman ended up being the clincher on court 2.

The 10th-seeded Trojans face the seventh-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels in the Round of 16. That match takes place Friday at 6 a.m. PT at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Oregon

Oregon’s season came to a close Sunday with a 4-0 loss to No. 9 seed Texas Christian on the Horned Frogs’ home court.

TCU took the doubles point with relative ease, downing the Ducks on court 1 (6-1) and court 2 (6-2). It didn’t get any easier for Oregon in singles play. Thomas Laurent went down first on court 1 (6-1, 6-0) to 21st-ranked Alex Rybakov. Courts 3 and 4 did the rest for the Horned Frogs, topping Akihiro Tanaka (6-4, 6-2) and Ty Gentry (6-4, 6-3) to advance to the Round of 16.

The Ducks conclude their season with an 18-10 record, marking three consecutive campaigns with 18 or more wins. Up next, they turn their attention to Thomas Laurent, who will be competing in the NCAA singles tournament starting May 23.

Stanford

Stanford is also going home (rather, staying at home) after falling to Ole Miss at Stanford’s Taube Family Tennis Center on Sunday.

The 4-3 heartbreaker started on the doubles courts, where Stanford’s Eric Fomba and Sameer Kumar beat out their Rebel opposition on court 2 to claim the first match of the day. But they would not get any more help in doubles play as Ole Miss won courts 1 and 3, marking just the sixth time in 26 matches that the Cardinal gave up the doubles point.

Ole Miss and Stanford traded wins on the singles courts throughout the rest of the match. Filip Kraljevic gave the Rebels a 2-0 team lead after defeating Kumar on court 3, but Fomba followed shortly thereafter with a point for Stanford on court 4. Tom Fawcett, the country’s No. 9 player and Stanford’s top singles competitor, locked up a 6-4, 6-2 victory on court 1 to tie up the team score at two points apiece.

Things looked good for the Cardinal when David Wilczynski put Stanford up, 3-2, courtesy of his 6-2, 6-3 win on court 5. But Ole Miss’ Tim Sandkaulen defeated Axel Geller on court 2, tying up the team score once again at 3-3.

It all went down to court 6, where Stanford’s William Genesen battled Finn Reynolds through three sets to clinch the match. Reynolds put up a strong and decisive final set (6-3, 6-8, 6-2) to end the Cardinal’s season and move on to the Round of 16.

Tom Fawcett and Axel Geller will both play in the NCAA singles tournament and pair up for the NCAA doubles championship in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.



Wisconsin football: Badgers aren't afraid to share national championship aspirations – Landof10.com


MADISON, Wis. — When right tackle Joe Panos uttered the famous words that galvanized Wisconsin’s football team during the 1993 season, it represented a watershed moment for a program intent on changing its history as a Big Ten doormat.

Panos, of course, responded to a reporter’s question about whether the Badgers could actually win the Big Ten championship that season with three words that became etched into lore: “Why not Wisconsin?” The Badgers ultimately earned a share of the Big Ten crown and went on to win their first Rose Bowl.

The trajectory of Wisconsin’s football program has drastically changed in the last 25 years. Instead of aspiring to win Big Ten championships, the Badgers now maintain a firm belief that they can win national championships. They have been on the cusp of the four-team College Football Playoff but have yet to break through.

Which is why, on the heels of one of the most successful seasons in school history, players are uttering a familiar refrain.

“Why not?” Wisconsin inside linebacker T.J. Edwards said recently, when asked whether winning a national title was a realistic goal. “Why shouldn’t it be one of our biggest goals? The part that gets me every time is we can’t win the damn Big Ten championship, so that hurts. Going back-to-back in Indy and losing is something that sticks in my brain. So in order to get to our biggest goal, we have to accomplish that one in front of us.

“It all starts with winning the Big Ten West. We talk about these things every day and how important they should be to us. I think every day we kind of practice, lift and meet with that in mind.”

Wisconsin has become one of the most consistent powers in college football. The Badgers have reached bowl games in 23 of the last 25 seasons, including a current streak of 16 consecutive appearances. They have played in five of seven Big Ten Championship Games, won four straight bowl games and two consecutive New Year’s Six bowl games. Since the start of the 2014 season, they have the fourth-most wins in the FBS. The top three schools — Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State — each have won at least one national title during that span.

But for all of the team’s successes, Wisconsin has not managed to earn a shot at a national championship. Two seasons ago, Wisconsin entered the Big Ten title game against Penn State ranked No. 6 in the College Football Playoff poll. The Badgers gave up a three-touchdown lead and lost 38-31 but likely would not have qualified for the playoffs even with a victory.

Last season, Wisconsin completed its first unbeaten regular season in 105 years and entered the Big Ten Championship Game ranked No. 4 in the CFP. Wisconsin needed 71 yards for a touchdown with 2:53 remaining in the game but came up short in a 27-21 loss to Ohio State. Wisconsin ultimately defeated Miami 34-24 in the Orange Bowl to cap a 13-1 season.

The fact the Badgers were so close has given rise to a renewed belief.

“It definitely does,” said Badgers running back Jonathan Taylor, a Doak Walker Award finalist last season. “When you go back and look, you just look at the little details. And that’s one of the biggest things. Guys who execute, make fewer mistakes, those are the guys that get over that hump. And those are the guys that win national championships.

“In meetings, we do discuss it. And I think it’s like an understood goal. Guys are coming out and competing at a high level. We know we’re right on the cusp of getting over that hump. So that’s one of the biggest things that we come out here and push ourselves to work for. We know that’s one of our motivations. Besides personal motivations, that’s one of them of why we come out here every day and work hard and compete.”

A big reason Wisconsin enters the season so confident is the team’s experience and depth. Wisconsin returns its top two tacklers, including Edwards, who earned first-team All-America honors last season. The Badgers also bring back 20 of their top 22 offensive players from last season.

Wisconsin football-Badgers national championship
Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook, who earned Orange Bowl MVP honors last season, helps lead a potent offensive attack. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

“I think we have a lot of talent,” said Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook, who will be a three-year starter this season. “I don’t look at one part of our offense and think that, ‘Man, I wish we were better here.’ Obviously, we want to improve. But we have a lot of talent. I’m excited about how these guys work together every day. We’ve been around each other for a while, so it’s kind of fun to come out here and practice.”

Hornibrook threw for 258 yards with 4 touchdowns to earn Orange Bowl MVP honors. He recorded the second-most touchdown passes in a single season at Wisconsin (25) and the fifth-most passing yards (2,607). If he limits his interceptions, the offense will have a chance to thrive on a level that is rarely seen in Madison.

Wisconsin’s top four wide receivers each contributed in big ways last season. Junior Quintez Cephus has the potential to develop into one of the best receivers in the country. Freshman Aron Cruickshank could push for playing time after a stellar spring practice. It is not a stretch to suggest that the wide receiver depth and talent is as good as it has ever been.

Meanwhile, the Badgers bring back their entire offensive line two-deep. That group includes three returning All-Americans: Michael Deiter, Beau Benzschawel and David Edwards. All three bypassed the NFL draft and returned for another season, as did T.J. Edwards.

“They all could have left, but they didn’t,” Badgers running back Chris James said. “Because I think they understand that we have a great opportunity to really end this thing off right and get that national championship. We were close and we got a little taste of it, but it’s just still not the whole plate.

“It’s not that we have no weakness. But we have a chance where everybody on the team has experience and everybody is playing confident. We know that we’re good. We know everybody in the Big Ten West is going to be coming for us. But the thing about these guys here, these guys don’t back down from competition.”

Wisconsin has reached a level of national prominence that the program could only dream of three decades ago. Scan the list of way-too-early preseason top 25 polls and Wisconsin isn’t ranked lower than No. 7 in any of them. Taylor is the Heisman Trophy favorite in some Las Vegas betting circles.

But there is still a burning desire to accomplish so much more and bring a national championship to Madison. In order to achieve that objective, it begins with a simple offseason question: Why not?

“Being around here for so long and knowing the culture of this place, knowing that we have the personnel, we have the coaches, we have the work ethic, we just have to put it all together,” T.J. Edwards said. “We’ve been so close. I want to gain that respect of Wisconsin’s a team that can do it.

“We just lose those big-time games that we need to win. It’s something that can’t happen anymore and won’t happen anymore. So I’m really excited to get this season going just to prove a lot of people wrong.”



Incoming Grade 8 student tops U-14 in National Age Group Chess tilt – Rappler


Jasper Faeldonia scores 7.5 points out of 11 rounds to win his first national tournament

Published 2:38 PM, May 14, 2018

Updated 2:38 PM, May 14, 2018

CHAMPION. Jasper Faeldonia wins the Under-14 category in the National Age Group Chess Championships. Photo from Pinoy ChessClub Online's Facebook page

CHAMPION. Jasper Faeldonia wins the Under-14 category in the National Age Group Chess Championships. Photo from Pinoy ChessClub Online’s Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – Sometimes, one just needs a little push and the results of that push can prove to be a pleasant surprise.

National Master Rudy Ibanez persisted, but in a gentle way, that 13-year-old Jasper Faeldonia was ripe for the National Age Group Chess Championships in Capiz. Even he, however, did not expect the young man to win the Under-14 ahead of the favorite, Michael Concio Jr of Dasmariñas.

Faeldonia won with 7.5 points out of 11 rounds to win his first national tournament. He had the same score as Concio, who was a finalist in last year’s national championship but a better tiebreak gave the incoming Grade 8 student from Arellano University the victory.

“I was not expecting since I saw good players there but I relied on his hardworking character,” said Ibanez through a Facebook exchange. “It’s luck being first.”

Faeldonia had only won silver medals in the 2014 Milo National Little Olympics and the 2017 Palarong Pambansa. In the 2017 NCAA high school division, he won a gold medal playing board 5, which is as a reserve.

There were several players with FIDE titles who did not have to play the national finals, along with some players who will be sponsored by their cities or province.

But strong players, like Daniel Quizon, 14, played in the Under-20 division where he may play in next month’s Asean age group chess championship in Davao. Another one was Al-Basher Buto, who played in the Under-8 division and dominated.

Cherrylyn, Jasper’s mother, said in a text message that her son “was excited playing in his first national tournament.”

Jasper has a quality which is not often seen among some young players who prefer a waiting style. He is aggressive and knows when to take calculated risks, said Ibanez.

“He has lots of room for improvement. (He is) hardworking and never missed practice,” said Ibanez. “For me, this attitude is important.”

Faeldonia, who learned chess at the age of 6, idolizes world champion Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So, his mother said. In So’s case, Jasper’s mother said “he was inspired because So became a strong player at a young age.”

Jasper’s mother said they would be paying a call on Odiongan Mayor Trina Frimalo in Romblon on Monday, May 14, to express their thanks in helping her son. But, for the big event in Davao, Jasper’s mother said the National Chess Federation of the Philippines will be paying for his trip.

It could be the start of something good for the boy who doesn’t miss chess practice. – Rappler.com