Rick Olivares – Philstar.com
October 17, 2021 | 2:04pm
MANILA, Philippines — Maybe now, the rest of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines will sit up and take notice.
If the knock on the Philippine Paralympic Chess Team was they haven’t beaten any of the big guns, consider that one off their checklist.
The Philippine Paralympic Chess Team took down erstwhile undefeated Manila Indios Bravos, 12-9, on Saturday evening, October 16, in the PCAP-SMC-Ayala Land Premier Cup play.
The Paralympics team won the blitz, 5-2, taking wins and the crucial points from the bigger name players of Manila. Only the Indios Bravos’ steady Cris Ramayrat Jr. and FM Edgardo Garma collected a point.
In rapid play, the crucial points came from Jerlyn San Diego on Board 3 and Henry Lopez on Board 6. Both were in disadvantageous positions but the former fashioned out a win while the latter managed a draw that put the score at 7-7 and 12-9 overall.
Part of the Paralympics team’s strategy was for FM Sander Severino try and hold Manila’s IM John Marvin Miciano to a draw, but even better, he picked up two wins and the three full points.
That win along with their earlier triumph over Isabela, 12.5-8.5, kept the Philippine Paralympics Chess Team atop the Southern Division with a 7-0 slate.
Their closest pursuer, the Wesley So Cup champions Iloilo Kisela Knights were waylaid by the resurgent Caloocan LoadManna Knights, 13.5-7.5. That loss kept Iloilo at second spot in the Southern Division standings albeit with a 5-2 record.
“Maybe we aren’t worried about winning,” reasoned James Infiesto, Paralympics coach and manager. “We have zoom meetings 30 minutes before our games for prayer and reminders to just play and have fun. Breaks of the game and luck was on our side.”
In the meantime, Singapore squad, SinQGApore was felled in both their matches, 12-9, by Manila, and 14.5-6.5, by the Pasig King Pirates.
The guest squad’s third loss in four matches saw them drop to fourth in the Southern Division with a 4-3 record.
The Davao Executives Chess Wizards chalked up a crucial 11-10 win over the Palawan-Albay Queen’s Gambit to hoist themselves up to 10th in the Northern Division with a 2-5 record.