Iloilo in thrilling win vs Caloocan

June 30, 2022 Ed Andaya 266 views

DEFENDING champion Iloilo Kisela Knights asserted their supremacy over Caloocan Load Manna Knights, pulling off a thrilling 12-9 victory in the battle of top teams in the 2022 PCAP-GM Wesley So Cup chess team championships over the weekend.

The Kisela Knights, who played minus GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr, relied on WFM Cherry Ann Mejia, NM Cesar Mariano and NM Fritz Bryan Porras to beat the Load Manna Knights in their much-awaited inter-division showdown and keep the lead in the Southern Division with 20-1 win-loss record.

Mejia, Mariano and Porras struck hardest for the Leo Sotaridona-managed Kisela Knights as they swept their respective assignments over their Northern Division counterparts.

Mejia demolished Vietnamese import WIM Luong Puong Hanh in both their blitz and rapid matches, 3-0.

Mariano crushed Dwight Dans, while Porras toppled IM Barlo Nadera — both with 3-0 scores — for Iloilo’s smashing showing.

The victories also cushioned the impact of losses by Armenian GM Hovhannes Gabuzyan and Karl Victor Ochoa to Caloocan stars IM Paolo Bersamina and Jan Emmanuel Garcia, respectively.

Gabuzyan bowed to Bersamina, .5-2.5, while Ochoa fell to Garcia, 1-2. at the top boards.

Overall, Iloilo defeated Caloocan, 5-2, in blitz and drew, 7-7, in rapid.

Coupled with their 18.5-2.5 demolition of Cagayan Kings earlier in the night, the Kisela Knights also took the overall lead in the 24-team, two-division tournament sponsored by San Miguel Corporation, Ayala Land and PCWorx.

Pasig Pirates also completed back-to-back victories over Palawan Queen’s Gambits, 14.5-6.5, and Cebu City Machers, 19-2, to vault into a share of the lead with Caloocan in the Northern Division at 18-3.

Caloocan won over cellar-dweller Pagadian, 18-3, before losing to Iloilo.

The Pirates, however, took over the top spot with higher scores.

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 21 rounds:

North — Pasig 18-4, Caloocan 18-3; San Juan 16-5; Laguna 14-7, Cagayan 14-7; Manila 12-9; Isabela 10-11, Cavite 10-11; Rizal 7-14; Quezon City 5-16; Mindoro 5-16; Olongapo 1-20.
South — Iloilo 20-1; Davao 17-4; Negros 15-6, Surigao 15-6; Toledo 13-8, Zamboanga 13-8; Camarines-Iriga 9-12; Tacloban 6-15; Palawan 15-16; Cagayan de Oro 4-17, Cebu 4-17; Pagadian 1-20.