By Marlon Bernardino
MANILA, Philippines---Back-to-back champion National University continued its impressive showing to grab solo leadership in the seniors men’s division after round 6 in the 80th season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) chess team championships.
National University defeated Adamson University, 3-1, at the University of Santo Tomas 1st floor QPAV Bldg. in España, Manila on Sunday (March 4, 2018).
The Bulldogs, playing under the banner of team manager Samson Go and head coach Jose "Jojo" Aquino Jr., is composed of International Master Paulo Bersamina, Fide Master Austin Jacob Liretarus, Ryan Christian Magtabog and Neil Conrad Pondoc.
The team trounced the Men's Falcons who were represented by Remark Bartolome, Mark Kevin Labog, Jayson Levin Tapia and Khristian Clyde Arellano.
“Again, it’s all about defense. That’s where we’re focusing on this season,” said Aquino, a certified United States Chess Federation (USCF) Master.
“Our preparation had paid off,” he added. "We hope to sustain our momentum.” last word of Aquino.
Bersamina crushed Remark Bartolome on Board 1 while Liretarus subdued Labog on Board 2.
Magtabog halved the point with Tapia on Board 3 and Pondoc split the point with Arellano on Board 4.
The Bustillos-based school currently has 15.5 points. It is looking for a historic three-peat title in this tournament supervised by tournament director Rodrigo Sambuang Jr. and assisted by International Arbiter Elias Lao Jr., Fide Arbiter Lito Abril, Fide National Arbiter Alex Dinoy, National Arbiters Roy Madayag and Noel Morales of the Chess Arbiter Union of the Philippines (CAUP).
Fide Master Randy Segarra's Dela Salle University,meantime suferred a heart-breaking loses to GM Jayson Gonzales' Far Eastern University, 1.5-2.5, to notch 15.0 points for solo 2nd place.
At third place is Adamson University mentored by Christopher Rodriguez with 14.5 points.
University of the East (UE) took solo 4th after 2-2 stand off against University of Sto. Tomas for 12.5 points, a half point ahead of 5th placer FEU and 6th placer UST which totes 12.0 points apiece.
University of the Philippines in 7th place with 9.0 points and Ateneo de Manila University is in 8th place with 5.5 points.
Meanwhile, DLSU leads the seniors women’s division with 18.5 points while FEU is on top of the juniors division with 15.5 points.-Marlon Bernardino and Caren D. Salinillas-