Toledo beats Iloilo, Surigao to maintain lead in PCAP Wesley So Cup
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Toledo Xignex Trojans proved that their dominant campaign in the ongoing Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) Wesley So Cup wasn’t a fluke after they narrowly defeated the heavily-favored former champions, the Iloilo Kisela Knights, on Saturday, November 18, 2023.
They edged the Kisela Knights, 11-10, in a hard-fought duel against the latter. The Trojans won the blitz round, 6-1, but they hit a brick wall in the rapid round which the Kisela Knights won, 9-5.
The Trojans’ ace woodpusher, Grand Master (GM) Richard Bitoon, defeated Thai International Master Prin Laohawirapap in the blitz round. Laohawirapap bounced back in the rapid round, beating GM Bitoon.
Despite Bitoon’s loss in the rapid round, David Elorta and Cherry Ann Mejia secured crucial back-to-back wins against their paired opponents in Horizon Villanueva and Jovelyn Sepanton, respectively, to prevent an outright defeat against the Kisela Knights.
Contrastingly, Toledo had an easy time beating the Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates compared to their grinding win against Iloilo.
They beat the Checkmates, 15.5-5.5, by winning both the blitz and rapid rounds. Toledo won the blitz round 6.5-0.5, and went on to win the rapid round, 9-5.
GM Bitoon defeated his paired opponent Lennon Hart Salgados twice in the blitz and rapid rounds. Elorta, Mejia, and IM Kim Steven Yap also won their two scheduled matches over Joey Albert Florendo, Mariel Romero, and Fame Fazon, respectively.
Toledo’s two wins last Saturday improved their record in the southern division to 18 wins with three defeats which is worth 284.5 points. Iloilo is at the second place with 13 wins and eight losses, followed by the Mindoro Tamaraws at third with their 10-11 (win-loss) record.
The RCM Cebu Niños (9-13) is at fourth place followed by Surigao (8-14) at fifth place.
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