Defending champion University of Santo Tomas continued to lead the standings despite a 2-2 stalemate with Far Eastern University in Round 8 of the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Chess Championships, Thursday at the FEU Tech Gym in Manila.
Still sitting on top of the standings with 25 points, UST is parrying a late charge from Season 84 runner-up University of the Philippines, which defeated Ateneo, 2.5-1.5 to improve to 20.5 points going into the final two rounds.
In Board 2, Melito Ocsan Jr. [4/5] pounded on National Master Lorenzo Cantela’s [4/8] 43rd move blunder to win material and force resignation by the 48th move while Lee Roi Palma [7/8] remained steady for UST with another win in Board 4, this time against John Kenneth Gelua [2/4] in just 39 moves of the Queen’s Gambit Declined.
But FEU’s Hans Olorosisimo [4/7] handed Board 1 Julius Gonzales [5.5/8] his first loss of the season after punishing a miscalculated 43rd move that led to a decisive tactical play forcing the latter to resign after the 44th move.
In Board 3, Arena International Master Jarvey Labanda [2/3] followed suit with a 65th move rook sacrifice that forced Brylle Vinluan [4.5/6] to resign right away.
Fide Master Stephen Pangilinan [7/8] steadied the ship for the Fighting Maroons with a dominant win against Joshua Tan [0/5] in Board 1 followed by Joshov Rosarda’s [3/4] quick win in Board 4 over Rico Calderon [0.5/5].
In Board 3, John Vito Cruz [0.5/3] salvaged a draw against Candidate Master Paul Llanillo [3/8] to preserve UP’s win as Christopher Kis-Ing [6/8] handed Jan Daryl Batula’s [5.5/8] first season loss in Board 2.
De La Salle University, on the other hand, bolstered its podium finish bid with a 4-0 sweep of Adamson University.
The Green Woodpushers now have 18.5 points in third place, as Cyrill Telesforo [6.5/8], Daniel Lemi [3.5/8], Jester Sistoza [3/6], and Francis Guimalan [3.5/4] all racked up wins against Vince Arellano [0/6], Gerald Gonio [0/5], Jolan Ballobar [0/5], and Arena Fide Master Alfonzo Olendo [1.5/6] in Board 1, 2, 3, and 4 respectively.
Round 9 is scheduled on Sunday, December 11.
By: John Ubaldo