ANOTHER exciting weekend awaits local chess fans when the league-leading San Juan Predators and Negros Kingsmen and Camarines Soaring Eagles and Caloocan Load Manna Knights clash in the 2021 Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) All-Filipino Conference.
The Predators, the top team in the North with a 17-2 win-loss record, and the Kingsmen, the best in the South with a 16-3 slate, square off in another elite showdown in Asia’s first play-for-pay chess league.
Led by GM Oliver Barbosa and WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda and handled by coach Hubert Estrella, the Predators stake the league’s best record against the ever-dangerous Kingsmen in the featured North versus South encounter.
Buoyed by back-to-back victories over the Lapu-Lapu City Naki Warriors (16-5) and Mindoro Tamaraws (13.5-7.5), the Predators are bracing for a tough match-up against the Kingsmen.
The Kingsmen will be bannered anew by Randy Segarra, Nelson Mariano III, Rowelyn Joy Acedo, Joel Pimentel and Rosendo Bandal, Jr.
Negros split its two assignments last Wednesday, losing to the Laguna Heroes 8.5-12.5, but winning over the Antipolo Cobras, 15-6.
Later in the night, the Soaring Eagles (16-3) and the Load Manna Knights ( 16-2) meet in another heavyweight battle.
The marquee match-up is expected to pit GM Mark Paragua, Ellan Asuela, Ezraline Alvarez and NM Carlo Lorena of Camarines against IM Paulo Bersamina, IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia, WNM Arvie Lozano and NM Pacifico Villasenor of Caloocan.
The Iloilo Kisela Knights of GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr., Karl Viktor Ochoa, Cherry Ann Mejia and NM Cesar Mariano gun for another sweep when they take on the Olongapo Rainbow in the first match and Manila Indios Bravos in their second match.
The Leo Sotaridona-managed Kisela Knights swept the Pasig Pirates, 11.5-9.5, and Quezon City Simba’s Tribe, 18.5-2.5, to forge a three-way tie for the lead with Camarines and Negros at 16-3.
The Rizal Towers of playing coach Eugene Torre and manager Eduardo Madrid hope to improve their fourth-best 13-6 record in the North when they meet the Mindoro Tamaraws and Negros Kingsmen.
Zamboanga Sultans, led by IM Chito Garma and seven-time national executive champion Dr. Jenny Mayor, battle Caloocan Load Manna and Cagayan Kings.
The tournament is sanctoned by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), headed by Chairman Abraham “Baham“Mitra.