by Marlon Bernardino
The Birthday Celebrant and the blitz king joined forces Saturday as the Laguna Heroes trounced Olongapo Rainbow Team 7, 18-3, in the fifth match of the All Filipino Conference Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) on online tournament at the lichess platform.
The Arizona, USA based Grandmaster Rogelio "Banjo" Barcenilla Jr., the two-time Asian Junior Champion, who celebrate his 49th Birthday on Saturday and Fide Master Austin Jacob Literatus, one of the fastest player in the country downed Joshua Bautista and National Master Gefer Imbuido, in both blitz and rapid in the upper boards to secure the Laguna Heroes third victory against two loses.
In other matches saw, Woman National Master Jean Karen Enriquez beat Judith Pineda on board three (female), National Master Efren Bagamasbad nipped Edimar Eje on board four (senior), Grandmaster John Paul Gomez dismantled Conrad Corre on board five (homegrown) and Kimuel Aaron Lorenzo routed Lou Anton Rivera on board seven (homegrown).
Dale Pradas defeated Vince Angelo Medina on board six (homegrown) to saved the day for Olongapo Rainbow Team 7 for a possible shut-out loss in the rapid competition. Pineda, meantime, defeated Enriquez, the only score of Olongapo Rainbow Team 7 in the blitz event.
Earlier, the Laguna Heroes headed by Team Owner-Playing Coach Arena Grandmaster Dr. Alfredo "Fred" Paez and Candidate Master Arjie Bayangat defeated Cavite Spartans, 14-7, on Saturday.
It shall be recalled that Laguna Heroes backed up by Team Owner/Consultant Engineer Jonathan Mamaril, opened their bid in a high note beating minus Asia's First Grandmaster Eugene Torre Rizal Batch Towers, 17.5-3.5, last January 16.
However, Laguna Heroes supported by Team Owner/Consultant Mr. Benjamin Dy and Team Owner/Manager Mr. David Nithyananthan suffered back-to-back loses against San Juan Predators, 12-9, and Caloocan Loadmanna Knights, 11-10, last January 20.
Based on the scoring system, a win in rapid chess is worth two points, a draw is one point and a loss is zero. Blitz chess result gives one point for a win, half point for a draw and zero for a loss.
The tournament is being sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), headed by Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra and supported by National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) Chairman/President Rep. Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr.-Marlon Bernardino-