CEBU CITY – The Cordova Dutchess Dagami Warriors came up with two critical wins at the start of their Inter-Division campaign of the 2021 Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) Wesley So Cup Conference on Wednesday evening.
Still smarting from its first defeat of the conference four days ago, the Dagami Warriors barely escaped two crucial matches with a pulsating 11-5 to 9-5 wins against the Cagayan Kings and the Caloocan Loadmanna Knights respectively, to build another winning streak.
PCAP Vice-chairman and Cordova Dutchess team owner Ariel Potot delivered the most important win when the team was on the brink of losing its second match.
Coming from a dazzling victory over the Kings in the first game, the Dagami Warriors picked up the pieces in the Rapid games after allowing Caloocan to dominate the Blitz event 4.5 to 2.5.
Despite playing without its Israeli reinforcement, GM Nitzan Steinberg, the Cordova Dutchess move up NM Merben Roque in Board to play against IM Paulo Bersamina and Michael Pagaran to play Board 2 against IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia.
Roque managed to pull a victory over Bersamina but Pagaran yielded the match to Garcia making the match more interesting.
Allan Pason gave Cordova its second win in the Rapid event after beating IM Barlo Nadera in Board 6. But with WIM Bernadette Galas (Board 3), Mario Mangubat (Board 4) and Bryle Arellano (Board 5) ended up with a draw on their respective matches, the outcome of the Board 7 game between Potot and Paul Sanchez would determine the result of the match.
With no option left but to win, the PCAP vice-chair used his favorite Pirc Defense, Czech Variation on his way to deliver powerful counterattacks to gain a clear advantage after the 28th move. Potot was relentless from that point as he slowly mangled Sanchez piece-by-piece and eventually scored the win and gave Cordova a 9-5 advantage, for a total of 11.5-9.5 win over the Loadmanna Knights.
The Toledo City Trojans on the other hand, also scored two wins in the crossover phase as they decapitated Rizal Batch Towers 14-7 and Isabela Knight Raiders 16 to 5 respectively.
However, the two other Cebu teams Cebu City Machers and Lapu-Lapu City Naki Warriors found their opponents too tough to crack.
Cebu City first dropped their match against Caloocan 4 to 17 then followed by another devastating 3 to 18 loss to Antipolo Cobras in the second game. Likewise, the Naki Warriors lost to Laguna Heroes 16.5 to 4.5 and were followed by a 16 to 5 defeat to Isabela on their second assignment.
The Camarines Soaring Eagles on the other hand, eked out a thrilling 11-10 win over Northern leader San Juan Predators to keep a precarious lead over the Southern Division.
On Saturday, the Dagami Warriors will try to continue their slaying ways as they play Rizal and Quezon City Simba’s Tribe while Lapu-Lapu City plays Caloocan and Antipolo alternately, Cebu City against Quezon and Pasig City King Pirates and Toledo City hope to score another double win against Manila Indios Bravos and Laguna accordingly. RCM