DAVAO executives bounced back from a third round loss with a sweeping finish in the remaining rounds to clinch the title in the fourth barangay tablon three-board classification chess tournament on Sunday, January 8, at Barangay Tablon covered court in Cagayan de Oro City.
The Davao execs of RP Olympiad men's team captain James Infiesto, Engineer Allan Diez and Ruel Baclayon grabbed a chance for the title in a four-way logjam after King's Indian Travel and Tours stopped the hot streak of lone leader RCANS Team in the sixth round.
Davao execs, King's Indian and Barroso Farm Team B caught up with RCANS for a share of the lead at 10 points each.
But all eyes were on the thrilling match between Davao Execs and King's Indian at table two after RCANS and Barroso drew their own fight at 1.5-all in table one.
Baclayon pulled the first victory in board three, while Infiesto sealed the title worth a juicy P15,000 cash prize after converting a tough rook-and-pawn endgame against Charles Laya in board one.
Only Elias Balase provided the lone win for King's Indian in the round.
Davao Execs suffered their only loss at the hands of RCANS of fast-rising junior players in Romeo Canino, Aljie Cantonjos and Ruel's daughter Mee Ann Baclayon.
RCANS, on the other hand, snatched the solo leadership in the fifth round but failed to show consistency after a pesky defeat in the penultimate round.
Barroso, 7C Sharingan, Gingoog Chess Team and RCANS finished second to fifth places, respectively, with similar 11 points.
“Dili gyod mo-champion taga Cagayan de Oro kay strict kaayo ilang rules sa atong players dire pero kung lain lugar walay question (Cagayan de Oro will not be the champions since their rules are so strict for the players but if its from other places, no questions asked),” rants National Master Levi Mercado in a later Facebook interaction.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 10, 2017.