NEGROS Kingsmen toppled Caloocan Load Manna Knights, 12-9, and Iloilo Kisela Knights edged San Juan Predators, 11.5-9.5, in the battles of elite teams in the Southern and Northern Conferences in the 2021 Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) All-Filipino Conference.
AGM Rowelyn Joy Acedo and FM Rosendo Bandal Jr. struck hardest for the Kingsmen, who outscored the Load Manna Knights, 9-5, in the rapid chess competition.
Acedo swept WNM Arvie Lozano and Bandal blanked NM Pacifico Villasenor in both blitz ad rapid matches to lead the Kingsmen to victory and a conference-best 15-2 win-loss record.
FM Nelson Mariano and FM Randy Segarra held their ground in the first two boards by drawing against IMs Paulo Bersamina and Jan Emmanuel Garcia, respectively.
The other South-North marquee match also lived up to the hype with the GM Rogelio Antonio Jr.-led Kisela Knights escaping with a narrow victory over the GM Oliver Barbosa-manned Predators.
With Antonio and Barbosa drawing both their blitz and rapid games, the battle shifted to the lower boards with Karl Viktor Ochoa, Cesar Mariano,.Fritz Bryan Porras and Dennis Bernas delivering eight rapid points for Iloilo.
Reigning national women’s champion WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda led San Juan with two victories over Cherry Ann Mejia.
Sharing the limelight were Laguna Heroes, Manila Indios Bravos, Rizal Towers and Pasig Pirates, who posted back-to-back victories against their Southern Conference rivals.
Laguna, bannered by GMs Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr. and John Paul Gomez, swept Lapu-Lapu Naki Warriors, 17-4, and Mindoro Tamaraws, 16-5, to tighten their grip on third place in the North with a 14-3 win-loss record.
Manila, led by GM Julio Catalino Sadorra and IM John Marvin Miciano, outplayed Toledo City Trojans, 12.5-8.5, and Zambonga Sultans, 15-6, for a fourth-best 13-4 slate.
Rizal, led by IM Rolando Nolte, overwhelmed Cordova Dagami Warriors, 12.5-8.5, and Iloilo Knights, 13.5-7.5. to improve to 11-6.
Pasig, topbilled by GM Darwin Laylo and Roland Salvador, downed Cebu City Machers, 12.5-8.5, and Cordova Warriors14.5-6.5.
In the Southern Conference, the GM Mark Paragua-led Camarines Soaring Eagles also completed a twin kill by beating Quezon City Simba’s Tribe, 11.5-9.5 and Olongapo Rainbow, 20-1.
Zamboanga Sultans, led by IM Chito Garma and seven-time national executive champion Dr. Jenny Mayor, outlasted Olongapo Rainbow, 3-0, in their three Armageddon matches after regular games ended at 10.5-10.5.
The all-female Palawan Queen’s Gambits shocked the Isabela Knight Raiders, 11.5-9.5, to clinch their second win in the tournament.
Palawan, however, failed to follow up its upset binge when it lost to Caloocan, 7-14, later in the night.
PCAP president-commissioner Atty. Paul Elauria said participating teams will play a total of 34 games — 22 in their own conference and 12 in the other conference.
Supporting Atty. Elauria are Michael Angelo Ong Chua, Chairman, and Atty. Arnel Batungbakal, treasurer.
The 24-team professional chess tournament is supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), led by President/Chairman Rep, Prospero “Butch” Pichay,and sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), led by Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra.
After 17 rounds
San Juan 15 2
Caloocan 15 2
Laguna 14 3
Manila 13 4
Rizal 11 6
Cavite 9 8
Pasig 8 9
Isabela 7 10
Antipolo 5 10
Olongapo 4 13
Quezon City 3 14
Cagayan 3 14
Negros 15 2
Iloilo 14 3
Camarines 14 3
Toledo 10 7
Zamboanga 9 8
Lapulapu 8 9
Mindoro 8 9
Cordova 6 11
Surigao 4 13
Cebu 3 14
Palawan 2 15
Iriga 2 15