June 13, 2021

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GM Nitzan Steinberg

Cordova Dutchess scores a thriller over Negros in PCAP Wesley So Conference

CEBU City, 20-May-2021 – The Cordova Dutchess Dagami Warriors survived a cliff-hanger against Negros Kingsmen on its way to claim two victories on Wednesday evening in the continuing games of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) Wesley So Conference.

In contrast, the Cebu City Machers suffered its third straight loss after bowing down to Palawan Queen’s Gambit 7.5 to 13.5 and Mindoro Tamaraws 9-12 and joined Iriga City Oragons and Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates at the bottom of the team standings with 0-3 records.

The Cordova Dutchess fought a very tough battle against the Kingsmen as they ended up tied 10.5 to 10.5 after the Blitz and Rapid games. The match has to be resolved in an Armageddon tiebreaker where the top three boards will be playing. The Dagami Warriors eventually prevailed via a thrilling 2-1 win.

Cordova’s Israeli reinforcement GM Nitzan Steinberg checkmated IM Joel Pimentel in 56 moves using the Colle System Opening for the team’s first win in the tiebreaker. Prior, Steinberg split his games with FIDE Master Nelson Mariano, winning the Rapid game in 31 moves using the Scandinavian Defense Mieses-Kotrc variation on the heels of losing the Closed Sicilian Blitz game that lasted in 86 moves.

NM Merben Roque also had his fair share of up and down games before bowing to Mariano in the Armageddon match.

Roque split his matches with Negros reinforcement FM Steven Breckenridge of USA. Breckenridge defeated Roque in 38 moves in the Blitz game using the Italian opening but Roque got back and defeated the American in the Rapid game using the Spanish Game Cozio variation.

With the fate of Cordova Dutchess hanging on the balance, home-grown Bryle Arellanao stepped up from his split game with NM Rolzon Roullo to give the Ariel Potot-owned Dagami Warriors its second win in the conference.

Arellano played the white pieces and pulled the rugs from under FM Breckenridge using the Orthodox Kings Indian defense that lasted to 71 moves to give Cordova Dutchess a 2-1 win in the Armageddon tiebreaker matches.

Cordova’s third victory came hours later when they whipped neighboring Lapu-Lapu City Naki Warriors 13.5 to 7.5.

Lapu-Lapu failed to sustain its momentum from a 14.5 to 6.5 win over the Oragons as they suffered its first loss in the conference at the hands of the Dagami Warriors.

Against Lapu-Lapu City, Michael Pagaran who manned Board 2scored two wins against NM Anthony Makinano, as well as senior player Mario Mangubat against Odilon Badilles on Board 4 and Allan Pason against Neil Adrian Gelig in Board 6 while GM Steinberg (Board 1) split his matches with NM Edsel Montoya as well as Arellano and Romeo Resuerra in Board 5.

Cordova outscored Lapu-Lapu City 4.5 to 2.5 in the Blitz event and 9 to 5 in the Rapid matches.

The Toledo City Trojans also split their matches Wednesday night. They lost to Camarines Soaring Eagles in the first match 11.5 to 9.5 then posted its second win against the Palawan Queen’s Gambit 12.5 to 8.5 two hours later.

Camarines logged its third win later in the evening after beating Surigao 18-3.

Also collecting their second and third wins on the second day of the conference was the Iloilo Kisela Knights with an 18.5 to 2.5 victory over Mindoro and 16 to 5 win against Iriga respectively.

The RiChess Masters-backed Cordova Dutchess will have its acid test when they play against Iloilo while Cebu City Machers will try to break into the winning column as they face fellow win-less teams Iriga City Oragons on the opening matches on Saturday, May 22. RCM