Caloocan chessers take charge

May 31, 2022 Ed Andaya 646 views

CALOOCAN Load Manna Knights served notice of their title aspirations by pulling off back-to-back impressive victories over Northern Division heavyweights Pasig Pirates, 10.5-10.5 (2-1 Armageddon) and San Juan Predators, 11.5-9.5, to assume the lead in the PCAP-GM Wesley So Cup chess championships over the weekend.

IM Paulo Bersamina and IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia provided the much- needed victories for Caloocan, which extended its winning streak to five games despite playing without an import for the third straight playing day of the tournament sponsored by San Miguel Corporation, Ayala Land and PCWorx.

Bersamina, who teamed-up with GM Darwin Laylo to secure a silver medal for the Philippines in the recent Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, defeated GM Mark Paragua, while Garcia subdued IM Ildefonso Datu in Caloocan’s 2-1 win.over Pasig.

Garcia also put up a strong performance as he swept import GM Kevin Goh of Singapore on board two.

New addition IM Chito Garma also held his own againstIM Cris Ramayrat Jr. in both blitz and rapid play.

Caloocan completed a double celebration with an inspiring upset victory over two-time champion San Juan with Bersamina pulling the rug from under GM Oliver Barbosa.

Overall, Caloocan improved to 5-0, the best start ever by the Load Manna Knights in five conferences of the pro league.

The Load Manna Knights have also beaten Quezon City Simba’s Tribe, 14-7, in the first round; Cavite Spartans, 11.5-9-5, in the second round; and Mindoro Tamaraws, 16.5-4.5, in the third round.

Defending champion Iloilo Kisela Knights matched Caloocan’s 5-0 start by winning over Negros Kingsmen, 11.5-9.5, and Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates, 13-8, in the Southern Division.

PCAP 2021 All-Filipino champion Laguna Heroes also completed a twin kill by beating San Juan Predators, 12.5-8.5, and Olongapo Rainbow, 13-8.

Also making their presence felt were the Davao Eagles, who swept Zamboanga Sultans, 17.5-3.5, and Negros Kinsmen, 11-10; Camarines-Iriga Oragons, who clobbered Palawan Queen’s Gambits, 17-4; and Cebu Machers, 12-9; and Toledo Trojans, who overcame Cebu Machers, 13-8; and Tacloban Vikings, 11-10.

The tournament is sanctioned bythe Games and Amusements Board (GAB)., headed by Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra and supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), headed by Chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay.