DAVAO Eagles and Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates came through with back-to-back victories to boost their chances in the 2022 PCAP-GM Wesley So Cup chess championships recently.
Davao swept Rizal Towers, 14-7, and Isabela Knight Raiders,17-4, to keep solo second place with 16-3 win-loss record, while Surigao overwhelmed Mindoro Tamaraws, 15.5-5.5, and Cavite
Spartans, 14.5-6.5, to move into third place with 14-5 slate in the prestigious 24-team tournament sponsored by San Miguel Corporation, Ayala Land and PCWorx.
Only defending champion Iloilo Kisela Knights have better record than Davao and Surigao with 18-1 card in the Southern Division.
The GM Rogelio Antonio-led Kisela Knights won over Isabela, 16-5 for their 18th straight win before falling in an upset to the Manila Indios Bravos, 110-11, the following round.
Negros Kingsmen also bounced back strong with a twin kill, beating Cavite, 14.5-6.5, and Quezon City Simba’s Tribe, 12.5-8.5.
The Kingsmen are running fourth at 13-6.
The other double winners were the Zamboanga Sultans, 10.5-10.5 Armageddon winner over Quezon City and 12-9 victor over Rizal; and Toledo City Trojans, 16.5-4.5 winner over Olongapo
Rainbow and 13-8 winner over Mindoro Tamaraws.
Camarines-Iriga Oragons, however, split their matches.
Camarines-Iriga lost to Northern Division powerhouse Pasig Piates, 5.5-15.5, but won over Olongapo, 16.5.
Tacloban Vikings had the same result, winning over Cagayan Kings, 11-10,but losing to Caloocan Load Manna Knights, 2.5-18.5.
Manila’s stunning upset victory over Iloilo, however, was the biggest story for the day.
Seven-time Philippine Executive Chess Association (PECA) champion Dr. Jenny Mayor toppled PCAP All-Filipino Best Player awardee GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr. in rapid play to clinch the victory for Manila.
Mayor’s dramatic upset win over Antonio enabled the Indios Bravos of team manager Atty. Joey Elauria and assistant team manager Val Mendoza to notch the rapid score at 7-7.
The tournament, the country’s first and only professional chess league, is organized by the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP), headed by Atty. Paul Elauria as president, Michael Angelo Chua as chairman and Ariel Potot as vice-chairman.
The tournament is sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), headed by Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra, and supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), led by Chairman/President Prospero “Butch” Pichay.
Standings after 19 rounds:
North — Caloocan 17-2; Pasig 16-3; San Juan 14-5; Cagayan 13-6; Laguna 12-7;. Manila 11-8; Isabela 10-9; Cavite 9-10; Rizal 6-13; Quezon City 5-14; Mindoro 4-15; Olongapo 1-18.
South — Iloilo 18-1; Davao 16-3; Surigao 14-5; Negros 13-6; Zamboanga 12-7; Toledo 11-8; Camarines-Iriga 8-11; Tacloban 6-13
Cebu 4-15, Palawan 4-15; Cagayan de Oro 3-16; Pagadian 1-18.