Pampanga joins PCAP chessfest

September 9, 2021 Ed Andaya 698 views

THREE local guest teams, led by the Pampanga Checkers, are expected to spice up competition in the 2021 San Miguel Corporation-Ayala Land chess championships starting Sept. 15.

The 16-under team managed by businessman-sportsman Archimedes de Leon will be bannered by World Cadets and Youth Rapid Chess Championships campaigner April Joy Claros and two NMs Lexie Hernandez of Angeles City and Oshrie James Reyes of Sta. Rita.

Claros, the 14-year-old high school sophomore at Far Eastern University-Diliman, rose to prominence in the world tournament last year.

Hernandez is a 15-year- old Grade 10 student, while Reyes is a 10-year-old Grade 5 pupil.

The other players in the all-Pampanga team are Tiv Omangay (Angeles), Gabriel Nuqui (Dau), Joseph Vergara (Mabalacat), Erickson Costuna (Mabalacat), and Karl Ballobar (Magalang).

“We are looking at participating in this PCAP tournament to gain exposure and build a brighter future for their chess career and their academics,” said De Leon, a yoga teacher and wellness instructor in San Francisco for 30 years before returning home.

“We are grateful to be invited to this conference. One of the goals is to build confidence in these kids. Learning is the best teacher and they will learn against the best players in the country but also international players. It will elevate their chess skills.”

“Winning is good because it makes you happy, but for me, I am looking to deepen the experience of the youngsters where they develop their characters through discipline, thoughtfulness, and reflection.”

Leading the PCAP member-teams are PCAP All-Filipino Cup champion Laguna Heroes and runner-up Camarines Soaring Eagles; and PCAP-GM Wesley So Cup champion Iloilo Kisela Knights and runner-up San Juan Predators.

Also seeing action are are Manila Indios Bravos, Caloocan Load Manna Knights, Rizal Towers, Pasig Pirates, Isabela Knight Raiders, Cavite Spartans, Cagayan Kings, and Olongapo Rainbow in the North; and Cordova Dagami Warriors, Negros Kingsmen, Toledo Trojans, Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates, Lapu-Lapu Naki Warriors, Mindoro Tqamaraws, Palawan Queen’s Gambits, Cebu City Machers and Iriga Oragons.

PCAP is headed by Elauria, Chairman Michael Angelo Chua and Vice Chairman Ariel Potot.

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