Laguna chessers take charge in PCAP All-Filipino

April 2, 2023 Ed Andaya 674 views

FORMER champion Laguna Heroes finally made their presence felt by posting back-to-back victories over Pasig Pirates, 11.5-9.5, and San Juan Predators, 11-10, to assume the solo lead in the Northern Division in the 223 PCAP All-Filipino Conference last Wednesday.

Led by IM Daniel Quizon and IM Michael Concio, the Heroes brought down the Pirates, 4.5-2.5, in blitz and held their ground, 7-7, in rapid to escape with the victory.

Quizon defeated IM Eric Labog, 2-1, while Concio swept Jerome Villanueva, 3-0, to provide the much-needed victories for the Dr. Fred Paez-owned Heroes.

AGM Kimuel Aaron Lorenzo also won over Kevin Arquero, 2-1, to add to Laguna”s total.

Two-time Asian junior champion GM Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr. of Laguna battled GM Mark Paragua of Pasig to a draw in an all-GM showdown.

WIM Sherily Cua bested WNM Jerlyn Mae San Diego, 2-1, while IM Chris Ramayrat, Jr. overpowered FM Dino Ballecer, 2-1, for Pasig’s victories.

Laguna also walked the tightrope before beating San Juan by the slimmest of margins in another keenly-anticipated match.

The Heroes started hot with 6-1 win over the Predators in blitz, with Quizon, Barcenilla, Concio, Ballecer and WFM Shania Mae Mendoza winning their respective matches and IM Angelo Young and Lorenzo managing to draw.

San Juan struck back in rapid, with Karl Viktor Ochoa beating Quizon, WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda getting back at Mendoza, IM Paulo Bersamina dispatching Lorenzo and Narquingel Reyes hmbling Ballecer — all by 2-0 scores.

Young fought fellow IM Ricardo de Guzman of San Juan to a 1.5-1.5 draw on the senior board.

But San Juan’s 9-5 triumph in rapid play failed to overcome Laguna’s 6-1 romp in blitz.

….“Our matches against Pasig and San Juan were really tough. But I think our winning margin in blitz made the big difference,: said Dr. Paez, who also cited the all-out support of Cavite Fourth District Rep. Elpidio “Pidi” Barzaga Jr.

The twin victories helped Laguna to take the solo lead with 22-1 win-loss record.

San Juan dropped to second overall with 21-2 slate,while Pasig remained in third place with 17-6 mark.

PCAP, the country’s first and only professional chess league, is organized by Atty. Paul Elauria as president and Michael Angelo Chua as chairman, and sponsored by San Miguel Corporation, Ayala Land and PCWorx.

The prestigious 20-team, two-division tournament is sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), headed by Chairman Atty. Richard Clarin, and supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), led by Chairman/ President Prospero “Butch” Pichay.