By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Iloilo Kisela Knights continued its momentum after extending its winning streak to eight games in the 2022 Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) third conference tournament.
Fresh off a hard-earned winning schedule against Isabela and Cavite, the Kisela Knights displayed their offensive consistency and demolished Laguna, 16-5, and escaped San Juan in an Armageddon tiebreaker, 2-1.
Despite a one-week break without games, the Kisela Knights still kicked off their campaign against Laguna with their usual hot start.
Iloilo quickly took a 6-1 lead in the first seven playing boards led by GM Rogelio Antonio Jr., Karl Viktor Ochoa, WFM Cherry Ann Mejia, and NM Fritz Bryan Porras.
Laguna looked to regain momentum in the rapid category after a quick 2-0 lead but the Kisela Knights responded with a huge offensive snowball that put their lead to safety midway in the game.
NM John Michael Silvederio and NM Porras provided the finishing touches for the Kisela Knights and outdueled AGM Kimuel Aaron Lorenzo and Richie Jocson, respectively.
Meanwhile, against San Juan, the Kisela Knights experienced a rare nip-and-tuck affair and just couldn’t pull away against the Northern division powerhouse team.
Iloilo had a two-point lead after the first seven playing boards but San Juan bounced back in the rapid category to deadlock the affair and force a tiebreaking Armageddon stage.
The Kisela Knights started the Armageddon slow after dropping the first playing board but retaliated to seal the deal with back-to-back wins.
Ochoa and GM Antonio Jr. provided the last two crucial wins for the Kisela Knights and helped Iloilo maintain the second spot in the Southern division.