MANILA, Philippines – Jockeying for playoff position and in need to a huge win to boost their confidence as the Professional Chess Association heads into its second season, the Pasig King Pirates stunned the Caloocan LoadManna Knights, 12.5-8.5.
With the LoadManna Knights posting a slim 4.5-2.5 lead after blitz play, the King Pirates found their groove in rapid play as Grandmasters Darwin Laylo and Roland Salvador, WIM Sherily Cua, and National Master Rudy Ibanez posted wins in the first four boards for eight points to overhaul the deficit.
However, Caloocan fought back behind Emmanuel Emperado and Nelson Villanueva but Pasig’s Leonel Escote took down Barlo Nadera for the upset win.
Buoyed by their huge win against the top-ranked Caloocan squad, Pasig beat back the Cavite Spartans,13-8, with whom they are battling for sixth spot in the Northern Division standings with a 16-15 record. Cavite dropped to seventh with a 15-16 record.
The LoadManna Knights vented their ire on the Antipolo Cobras with a 19-2 shellacking in their second match of the day. Caloocan’s split put them at 26-5; good for third in the Northern standings behind San Juan and Laguna respectively.
Antipolo remained at eight spot in the table with four matches left to play. The Isabela Knight Raiders are currently at ninth spot with a 9-22 slate and have an outsider’s chance to catching up with the Cobras should they really falter in the final week of elimination round play.
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