CAGAYAN de Oro bets, representing MJ Yabut Realty PAM-CDO “A”, made it to the prize circle in the 2nd Manny Pacquiao Random Chess Team Championships concluded recently at the SM Mall in General Santos City.
This, after the CDO troika of National Master Levi Mercado, Christian Arroyo and Eutemio Coquilla amassed 12 match points in nine rounds alongside board 4 teammate Jones Maghuyop to power MJ Yabut’s premier team in sharing nine to 14th places of the cash-rich tourney.
Also with 12 match points is Café Ligbeans A/Bohol anchored by the Cagayan de Oro-based Airforce man Allan Cantonjos from Gingoog City.
“At least, naay taga-CDO nga nakasaka in the second edition after our local boys in Manila made a 1-2-3 team finish in the inaugural show of the Pacman chessfest,” said local arbiter Lorenzo “Jun” Cuizon.
The four-man Elman I squad of International Master Joel Pimentel Jr., NM Hamed Nouri, Syrel Coleta and Romeo Sadia captured the team championship, held in honor of boxing icon Manny Pacqiuao, who celebrated his 37th birthday Thursday. The event drew a huge bunch of 296 pawnpushers from all over the archipelago, 271 of them vied for fame and fortune in the individual play.
IM Pimentel and company won the lion’s share of P100,000 from the total purse P1.5 million put up by the eight-division boxing champion.
Cagayan de Oro’s Coquilla and Malaybalay City’s Jeriel Manlimbana (Team Buksu) rose to spotlight for the individual honors when they both scored 7.5 points in nine rounds to emerge as the best two players on board 3.
“Obviously, Coquilla’s performance was a great help to MJ Yabut A’s 11th-place overall out of 74 teams. Sila g’yong Jeriel ang nag-dominate sa board 3,” said CDO-MisOr Chess Club insider Ronald Banaag.
Another Cagay-anon, Johnnel Balquin of MJ Yabut Team “B” was cited as the 12th-best performer on board 1 with his credible 6.5-point output in the novel chess play introduced by the late great American genius Robert “Bobby” Fischer.