Freeman Cebu Sports

Madridejos Knights make history with senior division crown

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The four-man Madridejos Knights Chess Club etched its name in stone as the first ever senior division champion of the Association of Chess Amateurs of the Philippines, Inc. (ACAPI) President’s Cup online tournament.

Led by playing team owner Engr. Josito “Jojo” Clamor Dondon who is based in Texas, United States, the Madridejos Knights completed a clean sweep of Davao del Norte’s Panabo Knights Chess Club in their four-round championship match to clinch the historic crown.

“Our constant practice greatly helped us in getting the championship title,” said Dondon, an Arena International Master and US Candidate Master who is a businessman and  professional day trader in the US stock market.

“Overall, the tournament was a great opportunity for us not only to showcase our talents in the sport but also foster team unity,” Dondon added. “Were very grateful to this ACAPI program spearheaded and founded by Engr. Rey Urbiztondo, my fellow Cebu Institute of Technology varsity player during our college days, because it revives our interest and love of chess as a sport even though we are already seniors.”

Aside from Dondon, who hails from Madridejos town in Bantayan Island, the other members of MKCC are Engr. Gilbert Anthony Ababat, Antonio Cabibil, and Joseleo Cortes.

“This victory is a testament to the collective effort and spirit of our chess community,” said Ababat, an Arena FIDE Master. He is solar contractor and electric vehicle charging station installer who owns and manages Solartronics and Fibertronics based in Southern California.

“To all participants, your commitment and sportsmanship have been truly inspiring. Each game played contributes to the rich legacy of our chess community. Keep pushing your limits, learning from every move, and striving for excellence. The board is yours to conquer! Let’s continue to make significant moves, both on and off the board,” Ababat continued.

MKCC was so dominant that it virtually pocketed the title even before the start of the fourth round. That is because they pounded Panabo in the first three rounds with uniform scores of 10-2  to establish an insurmountable 30-6 advantage going into the last round. They finished off their rivals with the final score of 37-11.

 “Unexpected gyud kaayo nga mo-rise among team kay ang among mga kontra pulos mga ilado unya kami last minute ra natigom. Pero misalig lang mi sa matag usa namo unya teamwork mao nakab-ot namo ang championship,”  said Cabibil, a newly-installed Arena FIDE Master.

One of Cebu’s most decorated players during his prime, Cabibil won gold medal at the 1992 Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) National Games. He also emerged as the 1995 Cebu Blitz King and 1996 Sinulog Open champion among his countless accomplishments.

For the Madridejos Knights, chess is an integral part of their daily living that is why they kept on playing the game even until now.

“Importante gyod nga ma maintain ang chess sa atong kinabuhi even older na ta because chess is life!” said Cortes, a former varsity player of the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) chess team who is a known giant killer of several titled masters.

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