Surigao stays alive in PCAP

July 8, 2021 Ed Andaya 796 views

FORMER national junior champion Jonathan Tan rediscovered himself and the Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates pulled off back-to-back victories to keep their hopes alive in the 2021 PCAP-GM Wesley So Cup chess championship last Wednesday.

Tan, who rose to prominence by winning the national junior championship in 1988, struck hardest as Surigao defeated Cebu City , 12.5-8.5, and Toledo City, 15.5-5.5, in a pair of inspiring victories that boosted the Checkmates’ chances to make it to the playoff stage.

Tan swept Thai import Wiwatanadate Poompong of Cebu and Iranian GM Amir Bagheri of Toledo in both their blitz and rapid matches.

“Tan, the national junior champion in 1988 and araw ng Dabaw champion in 1987, is on a resurgence with his secret weapon, the unknown Jobava opening,” said Surigao team owner-manager Rey Urbiztondo.

Former Asian junior champion GM Enrico Sevillano also hurdled his matches against Rogelio Enriquez of Toledo to push Surigao to a tie for seventh to eighth places with the Palawan Queen’s Gambits with 9-22 win-loss records going into the final three rounds.

Three teams — Mindoro Tanaraws, Lapy-Lapu Naki Warriors and Cebu City Machers — are hot in pursuit for the remaining playoff berths.

The three teams have similar 8-23 records with still three rounds left on Saturday and July 14.

The top eight teams after the elimination round will advance to the playoff stage, with the No.1 team battling the No. 8 team, the No. 2 team plying the No. 7 squad, the No. 3 team meeting the No. 6 team and No. 4 team taking on No. 5 team.

PCAP, the inly professional chess league in the country, is headed by President- Commissioner Atty. Paul Elauria, Chairman Michael Angelo Chua and Vice Chairman Ariel Potot.

The tournament is sponsored by San Miguel Corporation and sanctioned by the Games and Amusemenrs Board (GAB), headed by Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra.

Games July 10:

Round 32 — Cavite vs. Antipolo, Cagayan vs. Isabela, Caloocan vs. Laguna, San Juan vs. Manila, Rizal vs. Olongapo, Quezon vs. Pasig, Iloilo vs. Camarines, Cordova vs. Iriga, Cebu vs. Lapu-Lapu, Zamboanga vs. Mindoro, Toledo vs. Negros, Surigao vs. Palawan.

Round 33 — Antipolo vs. Cagayan, Cavite vs. Caloocan, Isabela vs. San Juan, Rizal vs. Laguna, Manila vs. Quezon, Olongapo vs. Pasig, Camarines vs. Cordova, Iloilo vs. Cebu, Iriga vs. Zamboanga, Toledo vs.Lapu-Lapu, Mindoro vs. Surigao, Negros vs. Palawan.