GM Barcenilla powers Laguna Heroes past Cagayan

Grandmaster Rogelio Barcenilla’s skillful endgame maneuvers powered the Laguna Heroes team to a 17.5-3.5 whipping of Cagayan Kings in the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines online tournament at the chess.com last weekend.

Grandmaster Rogelio ‘Banjo’ Barcenilla Jr. (left) and Grandmaster Wesley So (right) play a friendly blitz game while National Master Glenn Bordonada and Reggie Tee watch.

A knight fork in the king side of the Arizona, US based Barcenilla forced Jojo Foz to resign after 42 moves of an English Opening in their top board encounter.

Barcenilla, a two-time (1989 and 1990) Asian Juniors champion in India and Dubai and 1991 Bronze medalist in World Juniors championship in Romania, gained the upper hand with a beautiful knight to c6 square check in the queen side to take control of the end game with a rook, knight and five pawns against Foz who had a bishop, knight and four pawns.

“GM Banjo’s play was always razor-sharp, rational and brilliant.” said Arena Grandmaster Dr. Alfredo “Fred” Paez, one of the four co-team owner of the Laguna Heroes that include Benjamin Dy, Jonathan Mamaril and David Nithyananthan.

Also delivering for the Laguna backed up by Greatech Philippines, Inc., SDC Global Choice, Jolly Smile Dental Clinic and Rotary Club of Nuvali were Fide Master Austin Jacob Literatus, Woman National Master Jean Karen Enriquez, Fide Master Jose Efren Bagamasbad, Grandmaster John Paul Gomez and Kimuel Aaron Lorenzo in board 2 to 7.

Literatus defeated Danilo Bartolome in 31 moves of an Alekhine defense; Enriquez subdued Krizza Mae Biggayan in 50 moves of a Sicilian defense, Grand Prix Attack; Bagamasbad trounced Jonito Tumaliuan in 65 moves of another Sicilian defense; Gomez smashed Emerson Aquio in 38 moves of a Queen’s Pawn Opening Mikenas defense; while Lorenzo crushed Jefferson Tugade in 56 moves of Sicilian defense, Dragon variation.

Roberto Mania upset Vince Angelo Medina in 27 moves of Caro-Kann defense in board 6 to prevent a possible shutout loss for Cagayan in the rapid event.

Mania also beat Medina in the blitz portion while Tugade split the point with Candidate Master Arjie Bayangat.

According to AGM Fred Paez, Laguna beat Cagayan, 5.5-1.5, in blitz format and 12-2 victory in the rapid play.

This allowed Laguna Heroes to gain a share of the top spot with 27-4 record in the Northern Conference together with San Juan Predators.

Laguna, earlier beat Antipolo Cobras, 19-2. United States Master Rodolfo “Jun” Panopio Jr. and Sonny dela Rosa provided the twin wins in the blitz portion for the McDaniel Ebao-owned Antipolo chess team.

Laguna’s remaining games before the quarter finals against Isabela Knight Raiders, Manila Indios Bravos and Quezon City Simba’s Tribe.

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