Chess

Surigao Checkmaters eye rebound vs Zambo Sultans after loss to Davao

Lynde Salgados
Surigao Checkmaters eye rebound vs Zambo Sultans after loss to Davao

MATCHUP. Davao's Mary Israel Palero-Segarra becomes the headache for the Surigao team as she scores a perfect 4 points in their thrilling matchup via online chess on 15 boards.

Mindanao Chess

It will be another tough test of wits and nerves for the Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates against the Zamboanga side

Coming from a heart-breaking loss to Davao Region, the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines’ (PCAP) Surigao team battles the Zamboanga Sultans of Western Mindanao at 7 pm, Saturday, August 28, to wrap up its series of online matches for the 2021 Mindanao Friendship Chess Tour.

It will be another tough test of wits and nerves for the Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates against the Zamboanga side, which upgraded its roster for the third conference of the PCAP tourney, the country’s second professional league next to the PBA, in September 2021.

National Master Zulfikar Sali and FIDE Master Jessie Sales will be in the forefront of the Zamboanga Sultans’ upset bid in their keenly awaited tussle with the Checkmaters on 15 boards via Chessbase.com.

In their recent fight after starting with back-to-back wins over the Caraga selection and Northern Mindanao, the Checkmaters finally found their match opposite the Davao Executives Chess Society.

The Dabawenyos capitalized the absence of Grandmaster Enrico Sevillano to snap the winning streak of Surigao with a nail-biting one-point squeaker, 30.5-29.5.

“It was a thrilling down-the-wire goodwill match contest. It was a one-point win,” said lawyer Jong Guevarra, an old guard of the Davao Execs.

A balanced scoring effort enabled the Davao Executives to survive the immaculate performance of Surigao’s Lennon Hart, Tyrone Alaan, and Joselito Serna, who all went 4 of 4 in their respective boards to carry the fight for the Checkmaters. They missed the services of Cebuano GM and US Open 2008 champion Sevillano, owing to an over-the-board competition in California that he participated in.

The Davao team edged Surigao, 8-7, then went for the decisive 9.5 to 5.5 breakthrough in the second round of the blitz duel behind the perfect showing of Aglipay Oberio, Denzel Amar, Reynaldo de Guzman, Napoleon Recososa, Alfred Moulic, Melzar Galicia, and Mary Israel Palero-Segarra.

The Surigao Fianchetto retaliated in the rapid showdown, beating the Davao Execs, 17-13, with Arena Grandmaster Henry Lopez, Antonio Chavez Jr., Cyrus Donasco, and Allan Diez joining the explosive troika of Lennon Hart, Alaan, and Serna in the winning fray.

But Surigao’s equally impressive four-point romp off in the last round was not enough to outmaneuver Davao’s hot start.

“One of our players (Roberto Reyna) went to Siargao Island and lost by default because of signal problems in that area. I tried to force a slight winning game on my board for the equalizer, but got blundered instead,” said Surigao Fianchetto’s Rey Urbiztondo.

Helping Urbiztondo in organizing the Mindanao series matches are  Caraga’s Jun Cabiguin and Bobot Medrano, and Northern Mindanao’s Jun Gunayan, with the assistance of Father Vic Arellano as well as International Arbiter James Infiesto of Southern Mindanao/Davao and Professor Rey Reyes of Western Mindanao/Zamboanga. – Rappler.com

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