ILOILO Kisela Knights edged Caloocan Load Manna Knights, 11.5-9.5, and San Juan Predators overwhelmed Camarines Soaring Eagles, 14-7, in a pair of heavyweight matches in the 2021 Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) All-Filipino Conference over the weekend.
Iloilo relied on WFM Cherry Ann Mejia and NM Cesar Mariano to beat the previously-unbeaten Caloocan in a thrilling encounter billed as “Battle of the Knights” from the Southern and Nothern Conferences.
Mejia swept WNM Arvie Lozano, while Mariano blanked NM Pacifico Villasenor in both rapid and blitz matches to deliver perfect scores of six points for the Kisela Knights.
Overall, Iloilo defeated Caloocan, 4.5-2.5, in the blitz with Mejia, Mariano, Fritz Bryan Porras and John Michael Silvederio lighting up the scoreboard.
GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. battled IM Paulo Bersamina to a draw in centerpiece board one match to clinch a 7-7 standoff in rapid action and the match, 11.5-9.5.
Later, Iloilo outclassed Cagayan Kings, 18-3 to raise its record to 11-2 and join Camarines and Negros Kingsmen for the lead in the Southern Division.
Equally impressive was San Juan, which rode on victories by WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda and IM Ricky de Guzman in the female and senior boards, respectively.
Fronda swept Ezraline Alvarez in both their blitz and rapid games on board three to lead the Hubert Estrella-mentored Predators.
De Guzman also won twice over NM Carlo Lorena in the battle between two experienced players.
With Fronda and De Guzman leading the way, the Predators defeated the Eagles, 4-3, in blitz and 10-4 in rapid for a 14-7 triumph.
The top board showdown between GM Oliver Barbosa of San Juan and GM Mark Paragua of Camarines ended in two draws.
Narquingden Reyes and Ellan Asuela also battled to two draws.
Earlier in the night, San Juan also defeated Zamboanga Sultans, 15-6.
Fronda led San Juan with two victories over Sarah Mae Chua of Zamboanga.
With back-to-back victories, San Juan moved into a two-way tie for the lead with Caloocan with 12-1 records in the Northern Division.
Also posting two wins over the weekend were Manila Indios Bravos, who overcame Mindoro Tamaraws, 12.5-8.5, and Negros Kingsmen, 11-10; Laguna Heroes, who demolished Cebu Machers, 20-1, and Cordova Dagami Warriors, 16-5; Pasig Pirates, who trounced Surigao Checkmates, 14.5-6.5, and Toledo Trojans, 12-9; and Cavite Spartans, who humbled Lapu-lapu Warriors, 14-7, and Mindoro Tamaraws, 12.5-7.5.
Negros, led by FM Nelson Mariano III and AGM Rowelyn Joy Acedo, and Camarines, bannered by Paragua, split their two assignments to remain in the lead pack.
The Kingsmen routed Olongapo Rainbows, 16-5, before losing to Manila, 10-11, while the Eagles beat the Antipolo Cobras, 13.5-7.5, before falling to San Juan, 7-14.
Palawan, the only all-female team, dropped a pair of close matches — 8.5-12.5 to Quezon City and 9.5-11.5 to Olongapo.
The prestigious 24-team tournament is organized by PCAP, headed by Michael Angelo Chua, Chairman; Atty. Paul Elauria, President/Commissioner; and Atty. Arnel Batungbakal, Treasurer.
The country’s first professional chess league is supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).