Lee Roi Palma claimed another snappy win on top board, virtually claiming the Most Valuable Player trophy as well as powering University of the East to its first title in 13 years in the 13th and penultimate round of the UAAP Season 82 Boys’ Chess tournament at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion Saturday.
Palma unleashed the Sicilian in besting Emmanuel Paler in 42 moves and carrying the Junior Warriors to a 2.5-1.5 win over the University of Santo Tomas while securing the former’s first title since clinching pulling off a five-peat feat in 2007.
With a round to go, UE has 34 points, or a whopping 4.5 points ahead of No. 2 National University with 29.5 points, that reduced its 14th and final round assignment versus La Salle-Zobel as its coronation round.
Palma, who owns an impressive score of 10.5 points out of the possible 11, had already secured the MVP trophy while UE its sixth crown even if they ended up being blanked by La Salle-Zobel Sunday.
John Kenneth Gelua delivered the other win for the Junior Warriors on fourth board while Francis Roi Parro split the point with Emcel Jules Gadut on third board.
The only UE defeat came on board two where Noel Geronimo lost his way in the middle game and suffered a setback to Jester Sistoza.
In other results, dethroned champion Far Eastern University drew with NU, 2-2, while Adamson smashed Ateneo, 4-0.
In girls’ action, NU kept its title-retention bid alive after it downed leader FEU, 2.5-1.5, on wins by Allaney Jia Doroy and Jesca Docena on the top boards and a draw by Vic Glysen Derotas with Divine Grace Luna on third board.
The triumph sliced the Baby Lady Tams’ lead to just half a point as the Lady Bullpups have hiked their total to 26.5 points as against the 27 by the former.
The title will be decided in the last round with FEU tackling third-running Adamson (25.5 points) and NU facing off with Ateneo (5).