PRE-tournament favorites San Juan and Laguna pulled off similar impressive victories over their respective opponents at the start of the 2021 Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) First Conference last Saturday.
San Juan Predators, bannered by GM Oliver Barbosa and WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, demolished the Antipolo Cobras, 18.5-2.5, while Laguna Heroes, led by GM Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr. and WIM Jean Karen Enriquez, whipped Rizal Towers, 17.5-3.5, in a pair of lopsided matches kicking off hostilities in the first-ever, play-for-pay chess league.
Barbosa defeated Jojo Aquino of Antipolo in rapid and drew in blitz to lead the Predators’ dominant start.
Barcenilla won over NM Rolando Nolte, who took the place of Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre, in both rapid and blitz to lead the Heroes’ campaign against the Cobras.
Also scoring for Laguna are FM Austin Jacob Literatus, who beat FM Mari Joseph Turquez, 2.5-.5, on board two; Enriquez, who edged Kris Melicano, 2-1, on board three (female); and FM Efren Bagamasbad, who blanked NM Elias Lao, 3-0,on board four (senior).
GM John Paul Gomez of Laguna nipped NM Robert Arellano,2-1, on board five homegrown).
Sharing the limelight was Manila, which edged Cavite in the day’s most exciting match.
GM Julio Sadorra, IM John Marvin Miciano and Cris Ramayrat provided the victories in the three Armageddon matches to clinch the win for the Indios Bravos over the Spartans.
Sadorra defeated Kevin Arquejo, Miciano overwhelmed Ricardo Batcho and Ramayrat crushed Jayson Visca.
The match ended at 10.5-10.5 in regulation.
Iloilo Kisela Kings subdued the Palawan Queen’s Gambit, 15-6, despite the upset victories of WIM Shania Mae Mendoza and Catherine Perena-Secopito over GM Rogelio Antonio and Katl Victor Ochoa, in their rapid matches, respectively.
Camarines Oragons also won over Zamboanga Sultans, 12.5-8.5 despite GM Mark Paragua being held to a pair of draws by IM Chito Garma.
Cagayan nosed out Pasig, 11-10, with unheralded Jake Tumaliuan pulling the rug from under GM Darwin Laylo in their top board showdown.
Caloocan, led by IMs Paulo Bersamina and Jan Emmanuel Garcia, was another decisive winner following a 17-4 triumph over Quezon City.
The complete results:
Toledo def. Cebu, 13-8
Laguna def. Rizal, 17.5-3.5
Olongapo def. Isabela, 11.5-9.5
Iloilo def. Palawan, 15-6
San Juan def. Antipolo, 18.5-2.5
Cagayan def. Pasig, 11-10
Camarines def. Zamboanga,12.5-8.5
Cordova def. Surigao, 13.5-7.5
Lapu-Lapu def. Mindoro, 14.5-6.5
Negros def. Iriga, 18-3
Caloocan over Quezon City, 17-4.
Manila def. Cavite via Armaggedon over three boards won by Sadorra, Miciano, and Ramayrat.
The competition is sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), headed by Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra.