Trojans stun Sultans, advance to semis of PCAP online chess
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The 6th seeded Toledo City Trojans shocked 5th seed Zamboanga Sultans in the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) All-Filipino Conference playoffs last Wednesday, March 30, 2022.
The nail-biting win pushed the Trojans to the semifinals of the southern division playoffs. The Cebu-based squad nipped the Sultans via the Armageddon tie-breaker match, 2-1, as both teams finished the two-match regulation with one win apiece.
The Sultans dominated the first match, 16.5-4.5, but Zamboanga bounced back in the second, 9.5-11.5, to force the Armageddon tie-breaker.
During the Armageddon tie-breaker match, Toledo’s National Master (NM) Merben Roque defeated NM Joey Albert Florendo on board 1 while Rommel Ganzon trounced NM Dale Bernardo on board 3.
NM Zulfikar Sali snatched Zamboanga’s lone tie-breaker victory by beating Richard Natividad on board 2.
In the semis, Toledo will face 2nd seed Davao Chess Eagles who swept the No. 7 team, Camarines Soaring Eagles in their two matches, 15-6, and 14.5-6.5.
In the first match, Zamboanga both won the blitz and rapid rounds, 5.5-1.5, and 11-3, respectively.
During the blitz round of the Toledo-Zamboanga match, National Masters (NMs) Bernardo, Paulo James Florendo, Raymund Salcedo, Sali, and Joey Albert Florendo edged Natividad, Rommel Ganzon, Ronald Ganzon, NM Roque, and Bonn Rainauld Tibod, respectively.
Jinky Catulay prevented a shutout for Toledo by defeating Sheila Khan Sepanton while teammate, International Master (IM) Rico Mascariñas had a draw against FIDE Master Belsar Valencia.
Zamboanga went on to win the rapid round by clinching five matches while Rommel Ganzon defeated NM Florendo and NM Roque had a draw against NM Sali for Toledo.
However, Toledo turned the tables in the second match. Although they lost the blitz round, 2.5-4.5, they snatched a crucial victory in the rapid round which forced the tie-breaker match.
In the rapid round, NM Rogelio Enriquez Jr., NM Roque, Catulay, and Tibod won their matches against NM Florendo, NM Bernardo, Chua, and NM Albert Florendo, respectively.
Meanwhile, luck remained elusive for the Trojans’ ace woodpusher IM Mascariñas after he lost to NM Butch Villavieja while Ganzon bowed down to NM Sali in the same round.
Their semifinal showdown against Davao is on Saturday, April 2, 2022.
On the other hand, top seed Iloilo Kisela Knights dumped No. 8 seed Cagayan de Oro-Misamis Oriental Chess Association in two matches, 16.5-4.5 and 17-4.
The Kisela Knights will face No. 4 seed Negros Kingsmen who bested No. 5 seed Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates after two matches, 14.5-6.5 and 12-9. /rcg
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