FIGHTING chess marked the seventh and final round as Clyde Harris Saraos of Jasaan, Misamis Oriental wiggled out from an exciting hard-nosed rivalry to emerge champion in the premier high school category (Grade 7-12 boys and girls) of the Parents Chess Club 2nd Year Anniversary Tournament on Saturday, October 12, at the Limketkai Mall, Cagayan de Oro City.
Cassey Miguel Tabamo of El Salvador City also edged out fellow 6.5 pointers Ruelle "Tawing" Canino of Kauswagan Elementary School to top the elementary's Grade 4-6 category.
Zhaoyu Capilitan of Fr. William Masterson Elementary School reigned in the Grade 1-3 category undefeated.
In a close-fight rivalry that thrilled the spectators at Ketkai's Green Lane 2nd Floor, David Rey Ancheta of Corpus Christi School defeated the top-seeded Saraos en route to entering the final round with a clean slate against CCS compatriot Lorebina Carrasco II.
The District Meet champion Ancheta needed just a draw to bag the P2,000 top purse plus trophy. But Corpus Christi's lady Knight Carrasco, the District Meet's distaff ruler, had another plan.
Handling black, Carrasco spoiled Ancheta's crowning glory in a Queen and Bishop versus two Rooks and Bishop squabble that left Ancheta extending a hand in resignation of their Ruy Lopez encounter.
"The pawn on g3 spoiled it all. Dili makasaka ang King tungod sa pawn nga naka-penetrate. In panic situation or time scramble, advantage gyod sa hustle play ang Queen against two Rooks," said City Hall's resident chess trainer Johnnel Balquin.
But here's another catch.
Carrasco's attention-grabbing victory was not enough to earn for her the title. She suffered early of her only loss to Saraos, who matched Carrasco's 6 points with a draw opposite another CCS Knight Euniel Grant Capilitan in the final round.
Saraos thereby won the title by virtue of the "win over the other" tiebreaker.
"Upat sila sa top boards in the final round. S'werte kaayo si Clyde (Saraos) nga naka-survive against the three other contending bets all from Corpus Christi School," said arbiter Lorenzo "Jun" Cuizon.
With 5.5 points each, Ancheta and Lawrence Joel Hoy of Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School (MOGCHS) finished at third and fourth.
Joining them in the top-10 circle were 5 pointers Capilitan, Mary Joy Tan, Althea Meach Canas, Clint David Dacut, Rhea Jean Canino and Nico Tabacuan.
"Wala 'mi nag-abot peldi ko niya sa tiebreak," later said the bemedalled Tawing Canino in yielding the Grade 4-6 title to El Salvador pride Tabamo, the second time around champion in the Parents Chess Club event.
Completing the top 10 winners are Sara Dalagan, Janrick Lagunay, Lawrence Raphael Lawan, Jeckris Emar, Keith Adriane Ilar, Khent Lourence Canas, Ashlly Martinez and Vince Paboreal.
Sebastian Marbas and Mary Janelle Tan scored 6 points each to finish second and third behind the unbeaten Capilitan (7 of 7) in Grade 1-3 category.
Rounding up the top 10 finishers were Ashzley Paquinol, Jesheene Ybur Careras, Roehl Ian Jamisola, Paulo Efren Castino, Misty Nicole Balacuit, Quarl Maverick Vera Cruz and Lila Alyssa Serina.
The top six winners in each category received P2,000, P1,700, P1,500, P1,200, P1,000 and P700, respectively, while the rest of the top-10 finishers got P300 apiece.