WITH GMs Hovhannes Gabuzyan and Rogelio Antonio, Jr. back in the groove, PCAP All-Filipino Southern Division runner-up Iloilo Kisela Knights look to complete another dominant weekend when they play Cordova Dagami Warriors and Zamboanga Sultans in the 2021 PCAP-Wesley So Cup chess championships.
Both Gabuzyan, a two-time Armenian champion in 2017 and 2021, and Antonio dropped their opening-round assignments against the Palawan duo of WIM Shania Mae Mendoza and IM Padmini Rout in one of the biggest surprises in the import-flavored conference.
But the Yerevan-born Armenian GM, who turned 26 years old only last Wednesday, has since won his next five games to fuel the Knights’ three-game winning streak.
Antonio, the 13-time national champion, also recovered nicely by racking up 3.5 points in his next four games — three wins against Rout, FM Justus Williams of Iriga City Oragons and Joselito Asi of Mindoro Tamaraws.
On Saturday, the Leo Sotaridona-owned Kisela Knights test the mettle of the Dagami Warriors, who are also unbeaten in three games, and Sultans, who are in tbe middle of the pack at 2-1.
Camarines Soaring Eagles, led by GM Mark Paragua and WGM Marie Rachel Sebag, also hope to extend their winning streak when they battle Palawan Queen’s Gambits and Negros Kingsmen in the fourth and fifth rounds.
The Soaring Eagles of Engr. Jojio Buenaventura swept their first three asignments against Zamboanga Sultans, 16.5-4.5, Surigao Checkmates, 18-3, and Toledo City Trojans, 11.5-9.5 to vault into a thee-way tie with Iloilo and Cordova.
The Ariel Potot-managed Dutchess Dagami Warriors also hold a perfect 3-0 win-loss record.
The 24-team, two-division tournament is organized by the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP), led by President- Commissioner Atty. Paul Elauria and Chairman Michael Angelo Chua, and sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), headed by Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra.
Games May 22:
North — Pasig vs. Antipolo, Olongapo vs. Quezon City, Manila vs. Rizal, San Juan vs. Laguna, Isabela vs. Caloocan, Cavite vs. Cagayan.
South — Palawan vs. Camarines, Negros vs. Surigao, Mindoro vs. Toledo, Zamboanga vs. Lapu-Lapu, Iriga vs. Cebu, Iloilo vs. Cordova.
North — Antipolo vs. Olongapo, Pasig vs. Manila, Quezon vs. Laguna, Rizal vs. Isabela, San Juan vs. Cavite, Caloocan vs. Cagayan.
South — Camarines vs. Negros, Palawan vs. Mindoro, Surigao vs.Lapu-Lapu, Toledo vs.Iriga, Zamboanga vs. Iloilo, Cebu vs. Cordova.