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Negros, Camarines, Laguna, Manila prevail


NEGROS Kingsmen, Camarines Soaring Eagles, Laguna Heroes and Manila Indios Bravos pulled off similar inspiring victories over their respective opponents to tighten the race in the 2021 Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) All-Filipino tournament late Wednesday.

Negros brought down erstwhile solo leader San Juan Predators, 11-10, in a heart-stopping battle of heavyweight teams from the Southern and Northern Conferences to keep a share of the lead with a league-best 18-3 win-loss record.

Camarines matched Negros’ frontrunning record with a dramatic 3-0 victory over the Caloocan Load Manna Knights in their three-game Armageddon match.

In the North, Laguna swept Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates, 13-8, and Toledo Trojans, 13-8, to forge a two-way tie for the top spot with San Juan with identical 18-3 slates.

Manila toppled Cordova Dagami Warriors, 12-9, and erstwhile co-leader Iloilo Kisela Knights, 11.5-9.5, to move up to solo fourth place in the North with a 15-6 record.

Negros struck hardest on victories by AGM Rowelyn Joy Acedo, who swept WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda on board three and IM Joel Pimentel, who blanked NM Michael Gotel on board five to escape with a close decision over San Juan.

GM Oliver Barbosa and IM Ricky de Guzman were San Juan’s top scorers with victories over FM Nelson Mariano III and FM Rosendo Bandal, Jr. on boards one and four.

But Negros’ 4-3 victory in blitz and 7-7 draw in rapid clinched the win for the Kingsmen.

Negros also won over Rizal Towers, 13-5-7.5, in their second match later in the night.

Camarines completed a 3-0 win over Caloocan in their three-game playoffs to secure the win after battling to a 10.5-10.5 standoff.

GM Mark Paragua defeated IM Paulo Bersamina, Ellan Asuela edged NM Nelson Villanueva and Christian Daluz shokced IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia for Caloocan’s three victories.

The Eagles trounced Isabela Knight Raiders, 18-3, in the first match.

Laguna relied on GM Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr., FM Austin Jacob Literatus, Karen Jane Enriquez and FM Efren Bagamasbad to complete another sweep of its two-game matches and catch up with San Juan on the leaderboard.

Manila, bannered by GM Julio Sadorra, IM Marvin zMciano, Mira Mirano and Cris Ramayrat also continued its rise with a sweep of Southern teams Cordova and Iloilo.

Despite the setback, Iloilo kept third place in the South with a 17-4 mark.

The GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr.-led Kisela Knigths won over the Olongapo Rainbow, 15-6, before falling to Manila.

The Zamboanga Sultans, led by IM Chito Garma and NM Zulfikar Sali, defeated Cagayan Kings, 16-5-4.5, after an 10-11 setback to Caloocan to stay in the hunt at 12-9.

Also moving up is the Lapu-Lapu City Naki Warriors, who won over Pasig Pirates, 11.5-9.5, and Quezon City Simba’s Tribe, 12-9, for a 10-11 record –sixth in the South.

After 21 rounds
Laguna 18 3
San Juan 18 3
Caloocan 17 3*
Manila 15 6
Rizal 14 7
Cavite .. 11 10
Pasig 10 11
Antipolo 10 11
Isabela 8 13
Olongapo 6 15
Quezon City 4 16*
Cagayan 4 17
Negros 18 3
Camarines 18 3
Iloilo 17 4
Toledo 12 8*
Zamboanga 12 9
Lapu-Lapu 10 11
Mindoro 8 13
Cordova 6 15
Surigao 5 16
Cebu 4 17
Iriga 3 17*
Palawan 2 19

* — with unfinished game