San Juan

Laguna, San Juan chessers renew rivalry

July 30, 2021 Ed Andaya 250 views

PCAP ALL-FILIPINO champion Laguna Heroes and San Juan Predators will meet again in the final of the North Division of the 2021 PCAP-GM Wesley So Cup chess championships.

Laguna edged arch-rival Manila Indios Bravos, 12-9, 9-12, and 2-1 in Arnageddon, while San Juan swept Antipolo Cobras, 13-8, 11.5-9.5, to book a rematch of their exciting All-Filipino division final last March.

GM Kiril Shevchenko outduelled Deniel Causo and two-time “Battle of GMs” champion Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr. overwhelmed Jerome Balico in the first two boards of Armageddon action to clinch the win for the Heroes of PECA president Dr. Fred Paez.

Indonesian import IM Yoseph Taher averted a shutout for Manila when he upset GM John Paul Gomez on board three.

The two teams battled on even terms in regular play with Laguna drawing first blood in the first of their two-match showdown, 12-9, on a pair of 3-0 victories by Vince Angelo Medina and Kimuel Aaron Lorenzo over IM Ronald Dableo and Causo, respectively; and Manila drawing level, 12-9, with Dableo and Causo turning the tables on Lorenzo and Medina.

Sevchenko defeated IM John Marvin Miciano in blitz and GM Julio Sadorra in rapid at the top board.

San Juan leaned on GM Oliver Barbosa, GM Victor Moskalenjo, WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda and Narquingel Reyes to put Antipolo.on tbe ropes, 13-8, in their opening match.

Barbosa whipped Sherwin Tiu and USNM Jose Aquino, 3-0; Moskalenko overpowered David Elorta and NM Emmanuel Emperado, 2.5-.5; Fronda subdued CM Christy Lamiel Bernales, 2.5-.5, in female board; and Reyes edged Aquino and USNM Rodolfo Panopio, 2-1, to lead the Predators of PCAP chairman Michael Angelo Chua and coach Hubert Estrella.

Antipolo kept the match close, however.

The Binky Gaticales-managed Cobras battled the Predators to 3.5-3.5 standoff in blitz with Elorta, known for his rapid-fire quickness, beating Arden Reyes and Tiu surprising Narquingel Reyes.

But the Predators finished off the match, 8-6, in rapid with Barbosa, Fronda and Narciso Gumila wiinning over Panopio, Bernales and Tiu.

Last March 31, Laguna toppled San Juan, 3-0, in Armageddon play of their North final to arrange a titular showdown Soouth champion Camarines Eagles.

Barcenilla outwitted Barbosa, Gomez edged Reyes and FM Austin Jacob Literatus shocked IM Ricardo de Guzman to clinch the win for Laguna.

Laguna defeated San Juan, 12.5-8.5, in their first match, but the latter forced a playoff with a 10.5-10.5 draw in the second encounter

Laguna went on to beat Camarines in the final to win the first-ever PCAP title.

Over at the South, it will be Cordova Dagami Warriors versus Iloilo Kisela Knights in the final.

PCAP, the first and nonly professional chess league in the country, is organized by President-Commissioner Atty. Paul Elauria, with GM Wesley So and San Miguel Corporation as the sponsors.

The games are sanctioned b the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), headed by Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra.