Iloilo splits last inter-division round-robin match day in PCAP tourney

Iloilo ended their last inter-division match day with a 1-1 split (IKK photo)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Iloilo Kisela Knights split their last inter-division round-robin match day against the Northern teams in the ongoing 2022 Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) Wesley So Cup.

Iloilo survived the heavyweight Laguna team and edged them in the Armageddon round, 3-0, after ending the 14 playing boards with a 10.5 tie and got nipped by San Juan by just a point, 10-11, in one of the most intense inter-division clashes so far in the tournament.

It was an action-packed back-and-forth between the Kisela Knights and Laguna after the Iloilo-based team swept them in the blitz category, 6.5-0.5.

However, a series of clutch wins in the last seven playing boards spearheaded Laguna’s comeback and outscored Iloilo 10-4, in the rapid category which deadlocked the match at 10.5-all and set up a tiebreaking Armageddon match.

The Kisela Knight prevailed and swept Laguna in three games led by GM Hovhannes Gabuzyan, Karl Viktor Ochoa, and GM Rogelio Antonio Jr.

After a draining head-to-head close matchup against Laguna, the Kisela Knights couldn’t sustain their firepower and lost at the hands of San Juan in another tightly-contested showdown.

Iloilo struck first and took the blitz category lead, 4-3, after two huge wins in the last three boards by NM Rolly Parondo Jr. and NM Cesar Mariano.

The match continued to get close and no team was able to seize the full momentum but San Juan turned the tables after tallying four-straight board wins that extended their lead 11-6.

Iloilo tried to put up a gallant fight after clinching the last two playing boards after wins from NM Fritz Bryan Porras and NM Parondo Jr. but wasn’t enough to regain the lead and win the match.

Despite the 1-1 split, the Kisela Knights are still the no. 1 team in the Southern Division and are bracing for their last 11 matches before the playoffs.