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FEU on cusp of UAAP Chess greatness

If there is any doubt about its status as the most dominant men’s team in UAAP chess, Far Eastern University has quashed it by now.

FEU savaged University of the East, 3.5-.5, in the 13th and penultimate round Saturday and will officially clinch the UAAP Men’s Chess Tournament title Sunday that will establish its claim as the most titled chess team in the league with 15 championships.

It will take a very long time to catch up with FEU as the league’s second-most titled squads are University of Santo Tomas and La Salle, each with seven.

Or you can call the Tamaraws the greatest.

“It was all hardwork,” said FEU coach Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales.

And the Morayta-based chessers have been doing it minus top board player Jeth Romy Morado, the reigning national juniors champion who was already rested as early as five rounds ago.

RK Sevillano, John Jasper Laxamana, and Israelito Riloraza accounted for the wins for the Tams on boards one, three and four, respectively, while JM Jacutina had to fend off Eliseo Budoso’s upset try by splitting the point on board two.

The win hiked FEU’s total 41.5 points, or a whopping 8.5 points ahead of second-running University of Santo Tomas with 33.

So dominating was the Tams that they may also end up raking in the board awards headed by Morado, who was slowed down with two draws in the earlier round but recovered from there and was unflappable since then.

UST succumbed to Adamson, 1.5-2.5, but will still end up second even if it loses to FEU in the last round.

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La Salle and National University battled to a 2-2 standoff while University of the Philippines downed Ateneo, 3-1.

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