By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Iloilo Kisela Knights completed a momentum-clinching sweep during the October 7, 2023, game day schedule of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) Wesley So Cup second conference to elevate their record to an impressive 5-1.
After huge wins against Cebu, Davao, and Negros Oriental, the Kisela Knights went 2-0 against the Surigao Fianchetto Checkmates, 16-5, and the Camarines Soaring Eagles, 11.5-9.5.
Iloilo quickly got off to a hot start against the Fianchetto Checkmates when they grabbed a 5-2 lead in the first seven playing boards.
Led by two-straight wins from Rolando Andador and Mark Jossel Mariano in the first two boards, Iloilo captured the much-needed advantage in the blitz category capped off by another victory in the last board courtesy of Jovelyn Sepanton.
It was the same scenario in the rapid category as the Kisela Knights also nabbed two wins in the first two playing boards.
Iloilo then officially ousted Surigao from any comeback attempt when they collected a four-straight winning streak to end the match.
However, against the Soaring Eagles, the Kisela Knights had to shift gears after Camarines played their best.
It was a close outing as both squads traded board win after board win but Iloilo grabbed the pivotal advantage in the intense action of the rapid category.
Four-straight board wins from Fiona Guirhem, Cesar Mariano, Fritz Bryan Porras, and Horizon Villanueva fended off Camarines, giving them a 10-8 close lead in the rapid category.