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Minus Torre Rizal Batch Towers falters, Laguna Heroes prevails

BANNERED  by two-time Asian Junior Champion Grandmaster Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla Jr., Laguna Heroes toppled Minus Asia’s First Grandmaster Eugene Torre Rizal Batch Towers, 17.5-3.5, served notice of their title aspirations in the All-Filipino Conference of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines on online tournament, Saturday, January 16, 2021 at lichess platform.
The Arizona, USA based Barcenilla, win both rapid and blitz games against International Master Rolando Nolte in their board one encounter.
““Good start,” noted Barcenilla, who won the  2019 Philippines National Chess Championship dubbed as Battle of the Grandmasters.
Barcenilla’s teammates —Fide Master Austin Jacob Literatus, Woman National Master Jean Karen Enriquez, Fide Master Jose Efren Bagamasbad, Grandmaster John Paul Gomez and Vince Angelo Medina — swept their respective matches from boards two to six.
Literatus subdued Fide Mari Joseph Turqueza, Enriquez thwarted Kris Melicano, Bagamasbad routed National Master Elias Lao, Gomez tamed National Master Robert Arellano and Medina trounced Marlon Constantino.
The Rizal Batch Towers backed up by former NCFP director Ed Madrid relied on Arena Grandmaster Hernand Valiente,  who drew with Kimuel Aaron Lorenzo on board 7 to prevent a possible shut-out loss in the rapid play.
Earlier in the blitz event, FM Turqueza split the point with FM Literatus, Melicano upset WNM Enriquez and Arellano shocked GM Gomez.
Aside from Barcenilla, the Laguna Heroes who delivered victories in the blitz format were FM Bagamasbad, Medina and Lorenzo.
Other members of the Laguna Heroes were Arena Grandmaster Arjie Bayangat (Player), Arena Grandmaster Dr. Alfredo “Fred” Paez (Team Owner/Playing Coach), Engineer Jonathan Mallari (Team Owner/Consultant), Mr. Benjamin Dy (Team Owner/Consultant) and Mr. David Nithyananthan (Team Owner/Manager).
“It was a great feeling, malakas ang Rizal Batch Towers at buti nanalo sa first round,” said Team Owner/Playing Coach Arena Grandmaster Dr. Alfredo “Fred” Paez.
Based on the scoring system, a win in rapid chess is worth two points, a draw is one point and a loss is zero. Blitz chess result gives one point for a win, half point for a draw and zero for a loss.
The tournament is being sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), headed by Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra and supported by National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) Chairman/President Rep. Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr.(Marlon Bernardino,