Netizens celebrated the achievement of the 9-year-old chess prodigy Bince Rafael Operiano who recently won the 6th Eastern Asia Youth Chess Championship that was held in Thailand.
However, before getting the attention of the media and the public, Operiano experienced hardship days ahead of the chess tournament.
Because they’re only poor and only relying on sponsors, the child and his father, slept at the airport for three days while waiting for the plane ticket sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
After receiving the ticket, the boy has to travel first to Thailand leaving his father in the Philippines.
The story was revealed by Albay 3rd District Representative Fernando “Didi” Cabredo on his Facebook post.
“Due to limited funds and while waiting for the plane ticket sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, Bince and his father spent 3 nights at the airport with those benches as their bed. The little boy had to travel first to Thailand without his father, Mr. Ben Operiano.” the lawmaker said.
Being alone in Thailand affected the child so much mentally that he lost his matches at the start of the competition.
Some parents of the other contestants also noticed the sadness of Operiano and were even seen crying because of being alone.
“I was told by his mother that during the first day of the competition, the parents of the other participants saw the boy crying missing the company of his father.” the congressman narrated.
Fortunately, Mr. Operiano finally got a ticket and followed his son to Thailand.
The presence of his father boosted his confidence which made him win the following matches and finally become a champion.
“He ranked number 1 for the U-10 or under 10 years old category outdoing 20 other players from different countries,” Cabredo revealed.
Netizens are now hoping that the boy will get more sponsors as he already proven himself to be competitive in international chess competitions.