MANILA, Philippines – The all-female Palawan Queen’s Gambit may have found themselves sailing in rough waters in the inaugural All-Filipino Conference of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines, but they are ending on a strong note.
Palawan registered their first sweep of a match day when they took down Iriga Oragons, 16-3, and shocked the Mindoro Elgin Tamaraws, 15-6.
Against the Oragons, WIMs Shania Mae Mendoza, Cathy Secopito and Antoinette San Diego got their side to a good start when they defeated their Board 1, 2 and 3 counterparts in NM Glenn Artuz, Joeven Polsotin and Johnlyn Buenaventura, respectively, in both the blitz and rapid competitions.
It was only Iriga’s Emil Valeza who managed to put up a fight when he garnered points in the blitz in a homegrown battle versus Palawan’s Marife dela Torre while drawing with Mikee Suede in the rapid, 1-1.
Mendoza continued her strong day with wins in both blitz and rapid play against FM David Elorta in the nightcap versus Mindoro, 3-0.
Heading into rapid play, Palawan led, 4-3. But the Queen’s Gambit got heads up performances from dela Torre and Suede as Palawan coasted to a 7-1 win for an 11-4 final score.
Said Palawan head coach Susan Neri of her team’s huge wins, “The crucial board wins for us were in our Senior Division and in our homegrown. In our match against Iriga, our homegrown player Ms. Jesibel Maberit and Board 2 player WIM Catherine Secopito were able to secure the team win. For the second game against Mindoro, WNM Carmelita Abanes was able to secure early team's win after she drew with IM Domingo Ramos in the Rapid Event.”
The twin wins gave the Palawan Queen’s Gambit an overall record of 5-26 heading into the final matches of the elimination round this coming Wednesday and Saturday, March 17 and 20.
It was a tough day at the office for Mindoro which lost both their matches. The Elgin Tamaraws were felled by the Zamboanga Sultans, 15.5-5.5. Despite both losses, Mindoro is at seventh in the Southern Division standings of PCAP with a 13018 record. With four more matches left in the eliminations, the Elgin Tamaraws can either climb to sixth sport or fall to eighth depending on their results as well as the Lapu Lapu Naki Warriors and the Cordova Dagami Warriors in their final four matches in the same round.
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