MANILA, Philippines – On the eve of the historic first playoffs in the inaugural All-Filipino tournament of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines, chess trailblazer, Grandmaster and living legend Eugene Torre was leaving everyone guessing if he would compete in the win-or-go-home format.
Torre’s PCAP squad, the Rizal Batch Towers, the fifth seed in the Northern Division, has not played since the first weeks of January when the season began. The Grandmaster instead has opted to serve in a playing-coach capacity for his team, which has since bucked the poor start to finish fifth in the northern group.
The Batch Towers will take on fourth-seeded Manila Indios Bravo as led by GM Ino Sadorra on Wednesday, March 24, at 6 p.m. Both Manila and Rizal finished with identical 23-11 slates but the Indios Bravos won the tie-breaker for fourth seed owing to a superior quotient.
Torre downplayed any marquee Board 1 match-up with Manila counterpart GM Ino Sadorra by saying, “Hindi ko muna sabihin.”
Torre, the number one overall pick and selected by Rizal, has instead resorted to coaching the Batch Towers. But the door is clearly left open for him to play.
“Bahala na,” he simply put out there.
“Lahat ng teams dito winner na,” Torre emphasized with all honestly. “Napaganda ng resulta. Para walang pressure, winner na tayo and relax lang. Ang importante kasama tayo sa event and to to promote chess and to help in this time of pandemic.”
“We will put up a fight on the chess board,” sounded off Rizal team owner Ed Madrid.
The two squads split their two intra-division meetings this elimination round.
“The match-up is strongly balanced,” noted Manila team owner and manager Joey Elauria.
For his part, GM Sadorra said that he is adjusting to waking up the early hours of the day to compete in PCAP but in the same sentence offered no excuses.
Sadorra refused to divulge any details on his team’s preparations, but he did offer, “May the best team win… sana Manila yun.”
Joining Sadorra in the Manila Indios Bravos squad are IMs Marvin Miciano and Angelo Young, FM Deniel Causo, US NM Ryan Dungca, along with Mira Mirano, Cris Ramayrat, Genghis Imperial, Glenn Lemen, and Erla Rhysa Elauria with team owner Joey Elauria.
GM Torre’s troops include IM Rolando Norte, NMs Roberto Arellano and Elias Lao, FM Mari Joseph Turqueza, AGM Hernan Vallente, Kris Angelique Melicano, Salvador Tardecilla, Marlon Constantino, Jose Villaceran, Enrica Villa and team owner Ed Madrid.
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