CEBU CITY – The Lapu-Lapu Naki Warriors opened its November campaign on a hot note to gain a good position in the Southern Division team standings of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) Open Conference.
The Naki Warriors scored four straight wins including a tight-rope victory over fellow Cebuano squad Toledo City Trojans in the second game last Saturday, Nov. 6.
Trailing 7-8 after a tough October assignment, Lapu-Lapu opened in November campaigned with a 17.5 to 3.5 win over the youthful Sunrays Center for Chess Excellence in the opening match of November 3 that was followed by an emphatic 14.5 to 6.5 victory over Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates in the nightcap.
The double victory triggered the winning savvy of the Naki Warriors as three nights later they continued their slaying ways by dealing the all-female Palawan Queen’s Gambit with a 14.5 to 6.5 in the opening match of Nov. 6.
Lapu-Lapu City allowed Palawan one win and three draws in the Blitz game and two wins in the Rapid matches as the Naki Warriors entered the second game of the night with a 10-8 record.
Toledo City proved tougher customers as both teams went to a deciding Armageddon match to settle the score.
Both Blitz (3.5 points each) and Rapid (7.0 pts each) matches ended up on the same footings that warranted a tie-breaker match.
WIM Bernadette Galas (Board 3), Allan Pason (Board 5) and FM Anthony Makinano (Board 6) scored a win for Lapu-Lapu while Richard Natividad (Board 1), Rommel Guanzon (Board 2) and IM Rico Mascariñas were the victors for Toledo and the point for Board 7 were shared by Ariel Joseph Abellana and Bonn Rainauld Tibod in the Blitz games.
Toledo tinkered on its line-up a bit as they brought in NM Rogelio Enriquez Jr. to man Board 5 and Glicerio Pardillo Jr. subbed for Board 7. Lapu-Lapu kept its roster with only Pason and Abellana changing places for the Rapid matches.
Enriquez went to beat Abellana but Pardillo failed to contain Pason who continued winning for Lapu-Lapu.
At Board 1, Nativided continued to dominate NM Elwin Retanal, the points in Board 2 were shared between Michael Joseph Pagaran and Rommel Ganzon. WIM Galas continued her mastery over Jeah Jean Gacang in Board 2, IA Lincoln Yap got back at IM Rico Mascariñas in Board 4 and Ronald Ganzon defeated FM Makinano as the total points ended up to a 10.5-10.5 deadlock.
Lapu-Lapu picked Pagaran, Abellana and Pason to play Toledo’s Rommel Ganzon, Enriquez and Natividad respectively for the 5-minute tie breaker games.
Pagaran prevailed over Ganzon in a Scotch game, Pason barrelled through Natividad’s Alekhine Defence for Lapu-Lapu’s second point and Abellana broke Enriquez’s Queen’s Gambit Bogo Indian Variations for the third point on the Naki Warriors’ auspicious victory.
The four November wins improved Lapu-Lapu win-loss standings to the 11th win in 19 games while Lapu-Lapu suffered fourth straight losses and dropped to 9-10 in the standings.
Leading the way in the Southern division were the Reinforced Conference champions Iloilo Kisela Knights with 15-4 record, followed by guest teams Philippine Paralympics Chess Team (15-4), SinQGapore (13-6), Penang, Malaysia (13-6), Negros Kingsmen (12-7), Lapu-Lapu, Toledo, Camarines Soaring Eagles (8-11), Surigao (5-14), Palawan (3-16), Mindoro (3-16), Sunrays (1-17).
Up north San Juan and Pasig shared the leadership with identical 18-1 record, Laguna and Caloocan were also tied with 15-4 win-loss cards each, Manila (14-5), Isabela (9-10), guest team Davao (8-11), Rizal (7-12), guest teams Bangkok and Pampanga with (6-13) records each, Olongapo (4-15) and another guest squad Pengcheng were winless after 18 games. RCM