THE Mindanao woodpushers’ quest to surpass their quarterfinals’ stint in the 2nd Conference is now put in big question.
This, after the Congressman Robert Barbers-backed Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates suffered yet another heart-breaking loss to remain scoreless after five games in the second round of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines’ season-ending 3rd Conference.
Played over chess.com platform on Wednesday, the online team tourney saw the Checkmaters going down against the National Juniors representing Pampanga, 9-12 despite the perfect showing of their youthful vanguards on the top boards.
National Master Joey Florendo shutdown Erickson Costuna on board one, while Lennon Hart Salgados did the same opposite NM Oshrie Jhames Reyes on second board as the two former UAAP stars from Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro came up with a similar 3-0 output. However, their lower board teammates suffered heavily with only Joselito Serna (1 point) and Fide Master Vince Alaan (2 pts) managing to score in the blitz and rapid duels, respectively.
The former Palarong Pambansa champion Salgados, who is now with the Philippine Airforce, was also dominant in Surigao’s defeat to Laguna and San Juan, edging both FM Austin Jacob Literatus (2-1) and veteran International Master Rolando Nolte (2.5-.5) in head-on board 2 encounters.
“Our first four opponents were all perfect scorers at the top that we supposedly had a good chance against the mediocre Philippine Juniors that we failed to do so. Pero upat man ang ma-eliminate every division so, mathematically naa pa ‘mi chance. We need to get in the win circle in our next outings on Saturday,” said Surigao team owner, Arena Grandmaster Rey Urbiztondo.
San Juan, Pasig, Laguna Manila shared the lead in Northern division with a similar 5-0 slate. While the country’s Paralympics team had surprisingly took the solo leadership in Southern division (5-0) with Iloilo, Singapore and China’s Penang sharing second to fourth places with identical 4-1 win-loss record. (Lynde Salgados/Mindanao Chess Files)
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