LPU sets Finals date with San Beda in NCAA chess
Jonathan Jota was left to choose between individual glory or school. He chose the latter.
Giving up a chance to gain an International Master norm, Jota decided to default his game in the Battle of Grandmasters in Makati City and helped lift Lyceum of the Philippines University to a 2.5-1.5 win over St. Benilde in the Final Four of the 93rd NCAA chess competition at the LPU Auditorium in Manila.
Jota downed Prince Kenneth Reyes on board one for the decisive win that propelled the Pirates to the finals against the San Beda chessers, who trounced Arellano University, 3-1, in the other Final Four duel to advance to the championship round.
Romulo Curioso, Jr. provided the other win on second board while Virgen Gil Ruaya split the point with Hans Christian Balingit to seal the match win.
Nelson Busa, Jr. delivered the lone win for St. Benilde on second board.
San Beda, for its part, got its wins from McDominique Lagula, Marc Christian Nazario and Prince Mark Aquino on the last three boards while Arellano U’s lone point came from Don Tyrone delos Santos, who shocked FIDE Master Mari Joseph Turqueza on top board.
In juniors’ play, Perpetual Help lived for another day as it bested San Beda.
The Altalettes, who is coached by Ruel Abelgas, and Cubs actually ended up with a 2-2 score but the former won the match by virtues of their wins coming on a higher board, which was provided for by Carl Zirex Sato over Gal Brien Palasigue on second board.
San Beda’s John Philip Oncite beat Lou Anton Rivera on third board while the Brent Alanan and Alfredo Balquin drew with John Marx Anastacio and Jerome Angelo Aragones on boards one and four, respectively.
It was Perpetual Help’s second win over San Beda as the former beat the latter, 2.5-1.5, in the elimination round.
Perpetual Help and San Beda clash one last time on Saturday with the winner taking on Letran, which turned back AU, 3.5-.5.