UNIVERSITY of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) professor Engr. Abdul Halil Abdullah delivered a perfect 6 points in board 2 to power Cagayan de Oro’ s Chesson-A in winning the championship trophy of the 2019 Cagayan de Oro City Fiesta Chess Team Tournament concluded on Sunday, August 18, at the Limketkai Mall here.
Chesson-A of team manager Jason Nabatlao and also anchored by National Master Levi Mercado in board one and Bobby Salomon in board 3 actually amassed a team effort of 10 match points in a tie with the team of Cong. Alan R. Dujali A of Marawi, Davao Region’s Magmatyag and perennial contender Stalag 69 of Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro combined.
But Chesson-A prevailed in the Bucholz tiebreak to nose out the three other 10-pointers for the crowning glory and the P25,000 top purse plus trophy.
The wards of Cong. Dujali (Jason Salubre, Paciano Gulle, Genesis Apog), who held Chesson-A to its only draw in the penultimate fifth round, settled for the runner-up honor worth P15,000.
Team Magmatyag (John Ray Batucan, Perkins Bayron, Camilo Benabente) finished third to bring home P10,000. Stalag 69 of team manager Oliver Damunsong and reinforced by the troika of Lyndon Lumancas, Eduardo Tare II and Ramil Sayaboc settled for the fourth place prize of P7,000.
“Ka singkwenta na tingali ka team tournament sa chess akong gi-apilan karon pa gyod ko katilaw’g champion. This victory is really memorable especially sa ako personally nga walay swerte sa una sa mga team event,” proudly said Mercado.
Chesson-A was almost assured of a title finish in the fifth round against Salubre and company, but Salomon overlooked a simple exchange of the Bishops for a forced draw and absorbed a heart-breaking loss to Genesis Apog that ensued a wide-open race for top prize money.
“Dili na unta mi maapas kon na draw lang sa fifth round. Pero lucky charm gyod si Bobby maskin bisan asa nga team mabutang kay peldi sa iyang board pero nidaug pa man gyodmi in the four-way logjam tiebreaker,” professor Abdullah said.
Rounding up the top-10 finishers were Ubanan Twins (Nazario Ubanan, Josh Maestrado, June Mabaylan), MisOcc (Jefte Crebillo, Mardonio Fuentes, Noel Palanas), Chesson-B (Basilio Pandan Jr., Cleto Vasquez, Jason Nabatlao), Sabas Attack (NM Ernesto Absin, Julius Ablin, Bernad Madrazo), Team XU Alumni (Jaime Joshua Frias II, Silverio Abasolo, Resurreccion Gunayan Jr.) and 3 Rook (Allan Cantonjos, Wilson Barredo, Al Maghanoy).
Individual gold medallists Jefte Crebillo of Misamis Occidental on board one, Abdul Halil Abdullah of Chesson-A on board two and Ramil Sayaboc of Stalag 69 on board three were awarded P2,000, P1,500 and P1,000 each.
Tournament organizer Johnnel Balquin expressed gratitude to Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno for his full support of the pre-fiesta chessfest.
“Always gyod ga-suporta si Mayor (Moreno) and also akong pasalamat sa mga participants ilabi na gyod ang taga lagyo nga nag effort gyod pag-anhi,” Balquin said.