LAGUNA Heroes, Caloocan Load Manna Knights and Negros Kingsmen continued their winning ways to keep the lead in the 2021 Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) All-Filipino tournament.
Laguna edged erstwhile solo leader San Juan Predators, 11-10, and Rizal Towers, 12.5-8.5, to keep a share of the lead with the Caloocan Load Manna Knights with 22-3 win-loss records in the Northern Conference.
Caloocan outclassed Quezon City Simba’s Tribe, 19-2, and Rizal Towers, 13.5-7.5, to match Laguna’s record in the prestigious, 24-team tournament organized by PCAP President-Commissioner Atty. Paul Elauria and Chairman Michael Angelo Ong Chua.
Equally impressive was Negros, which overwhelmed Iriga City Oragons, 17-4, and Mindoro Tamaraws, 18.5-2.5, for a conference-best 22-3 record in the South.
Iloilo Kisela Knights blasted Palawan Queen’s Gambits, 18-3, and Toledo City Trojans, 14-7, and Camarines Soaring Eagles outsteadied Zamboanga Sultans, 12-9, and Cordova Dagami Warriors,15.5-5.5 to remain within striking distance with 21-4 slates.
The Laguna-San Juan showdown in the North was easily the high point of the action-packed Wednesday evening.
Homegrown bets Vince Angelo Medina, Kimuel Aaron Lorenzo and Arjie Bayangat provided the heroics for Laguna in the last three boards of the closely-fought rapid competitions.
Medina defeated NM Michael Gotel, Lorenzo outsteadied Narquingel Reyes and Bayangat subdued Narciso Gumila in to clinch an 8-6 rapid victory for the Heroes of PECA president Dr. Alfredo Paez.
GM John Paul Gomez of Laguna and GM Oliver Barbosa of San Juan battled to a draw on board one, as did FM Arden Reyes and FM Austin Jacob Literatus of board two.
Reigning national women’s champion WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda outwitted Jean Karen Enriquez in the female board, while IM Ricky de Guzman beat FM Efren Bagamasbad in the senior board for San Juan’s two victories.
Earlier, San Juan edged Laguna, 4-3, in blitz matches with Barbosa beating Gomez, De Guzman besting Bagamasbad and Gumila downing Bayangat.
Negros, the top team in the South, had an easier time against Iriga and Mindoro behind another solid performances from FM Nelson Mariano, FM Randy Segarra, Rowelyn Joy Acedo, IM Joel Pimentel, and FM Rolzon Roullo.
The Kingsmen demolished the Oragons, 5-2, in blitz and 12-2 in rapid.
Against the Tamaraws, the Kingsmen struck on victories by Segarra, Acedo, Pimentel, Roullo and Junaico Segismar for a 12-2 rapid and 6.5-.5 blitz victories.
The GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr.-led Kisela Knights opened the night with an 18-3 victory over the Queen’s Gambits before following it up with a 14-7 triumph over the Trojans.
Antonio, Karl Victor Ochoa, Cherry Ann Mejia, Cesar Mariano, Giovannia Mejia, Fritz Bryan Porras and Lloyd Lanciola were the top scorers for the Leo Sotaridona-managed Kisela Knights.
Also making their presence felt were the Manila Indios Bravos, who swept Cavite Spartans,15-6, and Olongapo Rainbow, 16-5, for a fourth-best 17-7 record; and Pasig Pirates, who defeated Cagayan Kings, 14.5-6.5, and Isabela Knight Raiders, 14.5-6.5, for a 13-2 mark.
The twice-a-week competiton resumes Saturday with the much-awaited rematch between top Northern Conference teams Laguna and Caloocan taking center stage.
Later, San Juan and Caloocan face off in another highly-anticipated match at 9 p.m.
Southern Conference leaders Negros, Iloilo and Camarines will also continue to jockey for playoff position.
The tournament is sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), led by Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra, and supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), headed by President/Chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay.Publication Source : People's Tonight