The Cordova Dutchess Dagami Warriors, Lapu-Lapu City Naki Warriors and Toledo City Trojans made it to the winning column to join nine other teams from across the archipelago that notches an opening day W. Unfortunately, the Cebu City Machers were not as lucky as the other Cebu teams as they dropped their first match along with the 11 other teams that lost on the opening night.
Cordova defeated Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates 17-4 which was highlighted by NM Merben Roque’s two wins over US-based Cebuano GM Enrico Sevillano, who served as the Surigao’s reinforcement; Lapu-Lapu City dealt Mindoro Tamaraws a thrilling 12-9 beating and Toledo City handed Cebu City a 15.5 to 5.5 rout.
Unrated at the FIDE Blitz ratings, Roque overwhelmed Sevillano, who is rated 2515, at the Board 2 match, then the former Rizal Technological University varsity who is rated 2301 in Rapid followed it up with an impressive victory in the Rapid game over the Tuburan, Cebu-native Sevillano, who is yet to be rated in the Rapid tournaments, at Board 1.
Dagami Warriors’ reinforcement, Israeli GM Nitzan Steinberg had a draw in the Blitz game with NM Jonathan Tan then lost the Rapid match at Board 1 and Board 2 respectively. WIM Bernadette Galas also had two wins over her lady counterpart Zsuzsa Tabudlong at Board 3. Senior player Mario Mangubat draw the Blitz and won the Rapid over Aladino Diez at Board 4.
Cordova’s homegrown talents Bryle Arellano, Allan Pason and Michael Joseph Pagaran also proved tough against their counterparts FM Vince Alaan, Rogelio Canoy and AIM Rey Urbiztondo at Boards 5, 6 & 7 respectively. Arellano had two wins; Pason added a win and a draw while Pagaran also swept the two events for a rousing start of the NA Ariel Potot-owned Cordova squad.
The competition rule states that each team has to field two top-rated players for Boards 1 and 2, a lady player at Board 3, a senior player at board 4 and homegrown players for boards 5 to 7. A win in the Blitz competition is worth one point, 0.5 for a draw and zero for a loss while in the Rapid event a win is worth two points and one point for a draw and nothing for a loss.
The other teams who prevailed in the opening night were Camarines Soaring Eagles beating Zamboanga Sultans 16.5 to 4.5, Iloilo Kisela Knights handing Palawan Queen’s Gambit an emphatic 18-3 beatings and Negros Kingsmen were too tough for Iriga City Oragons with a 17-4 drubbings in the Southern Division competition while San Juan Predators defeated Antipolo Cobras 15-6, Caloocan Loadmanna Knights beat Rizal Batch Towers 12.5 to 8.5, Cagayan Kings humbled Quezon City Simba’s Tribe 12 to 9, the Cavite Spartans escaped with an 11-10 win over Pasig City King Pirates, the Isabela Knight Raiders reached the magic score of 11 points to beat Olongapo Rainbow Team 7 despite a pending game and the Manila Indios Bravos scored a 2-1 win in the Armageddon tie-breaker matches against the All-Filipino Conference champions Laguna Heroes after an evenly fourth regular match that stood at 10.5 to 10.5 points up in the Northern Division wars.
The games will resume on Wednesday, March 19 with two matches scheduled to take place hours apart. RCM