Chess: PCA Wesley So Cup semis battles unfold Saturday
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Chess action heats up as the much-awaited playoffs of the PCA Wesley So Cup starts this Saturday with Cebu’s Toledo Xignex Trojans already in the semifinals.
The Trojans earned an automatic semifinal slot after topping the southern division standings.
They will face the No. 4 seed Davao Durianburg Stallions who defeated the RCM Cebu Niños on Wednesday’s quarterfinals.
The Stallions finished off the RCM Cebu Niños by winning both their two-set chess matches, 15.5-5.5 and 13-8.
The Stallions will likely field FIDE Master (FM) Sander Severino, Aglipay Oberio, Karen Enriquez, Alexander Lupian, Jonathan Tan, Irwin Aton, and Anthony Mosqueda.
They will go head-to-head against Toledo’s Grand Master (GM) Richard Bitoon, FIDE Master (FM) David Elorta, Women’s FIDE Master (WFM) Cherry Ann Mejia, International Masters Kim Steven Yap and Rico Mascariñas, Allan Pason, National Master (NM) Edmundo Gatus, Christopher Tubalado, and team captain Bonn Rainauld Tibod.
The Trojans finished the southern division with a franchise-record 22 wins and three defeats, giving them an automatic semis ticket.
The Stallions finished fourth with an 11-14 (win-loss) record.
In their November 15 chess duel, Toledo defeated Davao, 12-9.
Meanwhile, former PCAP champions, the Iloilo Kisela Knights will face the Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates in the other semifinal pairing.
The No. 6 seed Fianchetto Checkmates earned a ticket to the semifinals after shocking No. 3 seed Mindoro Tamaraws in last Wednesday’s quarterfinals. They beat the Tamaraws via an Armageddon chess tie-breaker, 2-1.
The Checkmates won the first match, 16-5, but the Tamaraws took the second, 14-7 to forge the tiebreaker.
The Professional Chess Association (PCA) Wesley So Cup is a series of tournaments involving various teams nationwide. The online chess competition drew massive interest during the pandemic when physical chess tournaments were not allowed.
It is named after Filipino Super Chess Grandmaster Wesley So who is now campaigning in the US and carrying the American flag.
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