Grandmaster Rogelio “Banjo” Bacenilla Jr. proved unstoppable at the top board as he led Laguna Heroes to a 15-6 victory over Rizal Batch Towers in the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines online chess tournament virtually held at Chess.com Platform Saturday night, January 29, 2022.
Barcenilla, a two-time (1989 and 1990) Asian Juniors champion in India and Dubai and 1991 Bronze medalist in World Juniors championship in Romania, defeated Salcedo after 59 moves of English Opening in their rapid play encounter. Barcenilla also split the point with Salcedo after 45 moves of Reti Opening in the blitz portion.
“GM Banjo’s play was always razor-sharp, rational and brilliant,” said Arena Grandmaster Dr. Fred Paez, one of the four co-team owner of the Laguna Heroes that include Mr. David Nithyananthan of KALARO, Engr. Benjamin Dy of SDC Global Choice and Engr. Jonathan Mamaril of Oregon, USA.
"We are happy with our twin wins tonight. Though we had big winning margins against Cagayan and Rizal, they were hard-fought. All games were exciting until the endgames." he added.
The Heroes, earlier beat Cagayan Kings, 15.5-5.5. The Heroes now has 4-0 win-loss record in the Northern Division standings, the same output of Pasig City King Pirates and San Juan Predators.
Also delivering for the Laguna backed up by KALARO, Greatech Philippines, Inc., SDC Global Choice, Jolly Smile Dental Clinic and Rotary Club of Nuvali were Fide Master Austin Jacob Literatus, Fide Master Jose Efren Bagamasbad and Kimuel Aaron Lorenzo.
Literatus dismantled National Master Noel dela Cruz after 78 moves of Sicilian defense, Bagamasbad trounced National Master Elias Lao Jr. after 48 moves of Caro-Kann defense and Lorenzo subdued Anore Geron after 84 moves of Pirc defense.
Michella Concio drew with Kelly Ann David after 21 moves King's Indian Attack while Richie Jocson settled for a truce with Jaymarc Gutierrez after 32 moves of Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit variation.
Marlon Constatino dealt Apollo Agapay after 52 moves of Caro-Kann defense to provided only wins of Rizal in the rapid game.
The Laguna Heroes bested Rizal in blitz portion, 5-2, as well as in the rapid format, 10-4.
Meanwhile, 13-time Philippine Open Champion Grandmaster Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr. spearheaded Iloilo Kisela Knights to a 16.5-4.5 victory over Camarines Soaring Eagle as well 17.5-3.5 triumph against Toledo City Trojans to grabs the solo lead in the Southern Division standings with a 4-0 clean slate.-Marlon Bernardino-
Photo shows 2-time Asian Juniors champion Grandmaster Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla Jr. of Laguna Heroes (photo from fb account of Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla Jr.).
Photo shows at right side is Fide Master Austin Jacob Literatus of Laguna Heroes (photo from fb account of Austin Jacob Literatus).