ROUTS were the order of the day as all top four seeds in the North and South divisions made short work of their respective quarterfinal opponents in the 2022 PCAP Open (Third) Conference chess team championships.
Defending champion San Juan Predators clobbered Cavite Spartans in their two-game playoffs, 12.5-8.5 and 17-4, to lead the march of the favorites to the semifinals of this tournament organized by the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) and sponsored by San Miguel Corporation, Ayala Land and PCWorx.
Chennai Chess Olympiad veteran IM Paulo Bersamina swept IM Joel Banawa, 3-0; WIM Jan Jodilyn Fonda blanked Ma. Zayrah Alonzo, 3-0; IM Ricardo de Guzman bested IM Petronio Roca, 3-0; and Narquingel Reyes downed Lourecel Ecot, 2-0 in the second of their two-set encounter to lead the Predators of PCAP Chairman Michael Angelo Chua and coach Hubert Estrella to victory.
San Juan will next meet inaugural PCAP All-Filipino champion Laguna Heroes in the semis.
The Heroes of PECA president Dr. Fred Paez whipped the Isabela Knights of Alexnader, 18-3 and 15.5-5.5 in their own quarterfinal showdown.
Also making it to the semifinal round are 2022 PCAP Second Conference champion Pasig Pirates and No. 4 Manila Indios Bravos.
The Pirates eliminated Rizal Towers, 20-1 and 20-1, while the Indios Bravos ousted Cagayan Kings, 11-10 and 15-6.
Over in the Southern Division, Iloilo Kisela Knights trounced Camarines-Iriga Eagles, 16.5 and 12.5-8.5.
GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr., Karl Victor Ochoa, Cherry Ann Mejia and NM Cesar Mariano led the Leo Sotaridona-owned Kisela Knights to victory over the Eagles.
Antonio, fresh from a respectable ninth-place finish in the World Seniors chess championships in Italy, outplayed Walt Allen Talan, 2-0, on board one.
Iloilo’s semifinal opponents are the Negros Kingsmen, 16-5, 16-5 winner over the Surigao FIanchetto Checkmates.
The other semifinal duel in the South will pit top seed Davao Eagles and No. 4 Toledo City Trojans.
Davao slammed the door on surprise quarterfinalists Tacloban Vikings, 16.5-4.5 and 17-4, while Toledo ended the giant-killing ways of the Palawan Queen’s Gambits, 14.5-6.5 and 13-8.
North — No. 1 Pasig vs. No. 4 Manila
No. 2, San Juan vs. No. 3 Laguna
South — No. 1 Davao vs. No. 4 Toledo
No. 2 Iloilo vs. No. 3 Negros