MANILA, Philippines – San Sebastian College-Recoletos (SSC-R) defeated Jose Rizal University (JRU), 3.5-0.5, in the ninth round of the NCAA seniors chess championships last Tuesday at the SM Centerpoint in Quezon City.
The Stags topped the first round of eliminations. They tallied 30.5 points in the first round, half a point ahead of defending champions College of St. Benilde (CSB).
CSB also registered a win in the ninth round, shutting out University of Perpetual Help, 4-0.
If the Stags also win the second round of eliminations, they automatically win the chess title, according to SSC head coach and National Master Homer Buhay-Cunanan.
“Sisikapin namin makuha na yung second round pennant para wala ng play off sa finals,” Cunanan said.
The San Sebastian woodpushers dominated the NCAA chess tournament in the mid-90s, when they were represented by GM Darwin Laylo and GM-elect Ronald Dableo.
Alexis Emil Marabao defeated Alberca Leonard on Board 1, Adrian Perez beat Raymart Yap on Board 2 and Jayson Mercado edged Thomas Manalang on Board 3.
Jhoed Banes saved the day for JRU when he drew with Arvie Jongko of Board 4 to prevent the shutout loss.
Meanwhile, the St. Benilde Blazers relied on the services of Narquinden Reyes, Mark Fernan Donguines, Jerich Caneras and Jesse Abucejo as they crushed the Altas.
The Altas were led by Paulink Barba, Aristotle Monera, Justine Nicole de Jesus and Philip Christopher Medina. -- By Marlon Bernardino