PCAP thriller

April 29, 2023 Ed Andaya 439 views

TWO-TIME champion Pasig Pirates will get the chance to complete a rare three-peat in the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP).

The Pirates pulled off a thrilling and heart-stopping 13-8, 9-12 ( 2-1 Armageddon) victory over former champion Laguna Heroes to clinch the Northern Division title and advance to the finals of the 2023 PCAP All-Filipino Conference last Wednesday.

United States-based GM Mark Paragua and IM Eric Labog carried the fight for the Mayor Vico Sotto-backed Pirates by winning two of their three playoff matches.

Paragua outwitted IM Daniel Quizon, while Labog humbled IM Michael Concio for Pasig’s two victories.

Two-time Asian junior champion GM Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr. was the lone victor for Laguna as he won over Kevin Arquero in their board two encounter.

Pasig and Laguna split the first two matches, with the Pirates drawing first blood at 13-8 and the Heroes fighting back at 12-9.

That sent the match into the Armageddon.

Pasig’s championship opponents are the Davao Eagles, 10.5-10.5, 11-10 winner over Negros Kingsmen in the equally- exciting Southern Division final.

FM Sander Severino bested Ellan Asuela while FM Austin Literatus shocked GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr. in Davao’s 2-1 victory in their three-game playoffs after the first of their two-match showdown ended in a 10.5-10.5 standoff.

FM David Elorta averted a shutout for Negros with a victory over IM Oliver Dimakiling of Davao.

Severino, NM Dale Bernardo and NM Alexander Lupian provided the much-needed victories in the second match as Davao edged Negros, 11-10,

Severino subdued Elorta, 2.5-.5, Bernardo downed FM Mari Joseph Turqueza, 3-0, and Lupian upset Antonio, 2.5-.5 for the Eagles’ victories. Dimakiling also came through with a 2-1 triumph over Asuela to seal the win for Davao.

Negros struck on victories by WIM Bernadette Galas over WNM Jean Karen Enriquez (2.5-.5) in the female board; and IM Joel Pimentel over Literatus (3-0) and Ted Ian Montoyo over NM Jonathan Tan (2.5-.5) in the lower boards.

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