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Surigao wins 4 of 5 games for best PCAP start

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
Surigao wins 4 of 5 games for best PCAP start

MANILA, Philippines – The Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates were one of the big winners during the opening weekend of the Open Conference of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines at the Estancia Mall in Pasig City last September 23-25.

Surigao, competing in the Southern Division, took four wins in five matches in the league’s first ever over-the-board chess competition. 

The Fianchetto Checkmates defeated Palawan 19-2, Cagayan de Oro 16-5, and Cebu 14-7 last September 24, and split their matches last Sunday. They lost a close match against Southern Division champions Iloilo Kisela Knights, 11-10, but took down Pagadian, 15.5-5.5.

Leading the way for the Fianchetto checkmates were Lennon Hart Salgados on Board 1, Kevin Mirano on Board 2, and Antonio Chavez on Board 5.

Salgados took all 14 out of 15 points in all his match-ups while Mirano garnered 12. Chavez picked up 13 points.

“The 4-0 start of our team is our best start in PCAP,” said team owner Rey Urbiztondo. “We were going for a fifth straight win but we were stopped by Iloilo. So we’re 4-1. It might be luck in the early pairings, but we maintained the pace for our reaching the quarterfinals in all the PCAP conferences.”

Aside from Salgados, Mirano, and Chavez, Surigao’s other titled players include FM Vince Alaan and NM Cyril Ortega.

Other members of Surigao’s professional chess team include John Razel Morazo, Rhenz Rhean Auza, Jhonnel Balquin, Mariel Romero, Aubrey Gallardo, Tyrone Alaan, Engineer Joselito Serna, Rogelio Canoy, Cyrus Donasco and Jessa Mae Lisondra.

“Our regular import, GM Enrico Sevillano, is like our version of the Alaska Aces’ Sean Chambers (in the PBA) as he has been with us decades ago,” added Urbiztondo.

Helping out in the running of the Fianchetto Checkmates is team manager Engineer Dohjie Morales with Congressman Robert Ace Barbers as team sponsor.

“The mall venue is great for a chess tournament,” observed Urbiztondo of the PCAP opening. “Our congratulations to the organizers, the Estancia Mall, Pasig LGU officials who graced us with the presence of Mayor Vico Sotto and Congressman Roman Romulo, the arbiters, the PCAP leadership of Commissioner Paul Elauria and Chairman Michael Chua, the arbiters, teams with their owners, coaches, and players. We appreciated the successful event!”

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