Yanika Seratubias


The all-women Palawan Queen’s Gambit chess team bowed to Camarines 14-7 in the continuation of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines’ (PCAP) inaugural tournament Saturday, but not without homegrown Yanika Seratubias scoring an upset over National Master Ronald Llavanes on rapid play and Catherine Secopito forcing Alan Asuela into resignation.

Yanika Seratubias took a long break from competitive chess but she proved that talent will always show itself. Here she defeats her first National Master. Ronald Llavanes of Southern Conference co-leader Camarines, who likes counter-attacking positions, chooses a stodgy setup with 4..c6, apparently hoping she would become too ambitious and be punished. But Seratubias, who allowed her last master foe to escape with a draw, nails down the point.

Y. Seratubias-R. Llavanes, Rapid: 1 e4 d6 2 d4 g6 3 c4 Bg7 4 Nc3 c6 (There are many well-trodden lines like the common 4.. Nf6) 5 h3 Qc7 6 Nf3 Nd7 7Be2 Ngf6 8 Be3 O-O 9 O-O e5 10 d5 a6 11 a3 Nh5 12 Re1 Nf4 13 Bf1 h6 14 g3 Nh5 15 Qd2 Kh7 16 dxc6 bxc6 17 Red1 ( After Black’s plan to create something, panic or anxiety perhaps against his young, rusty foe in the Kside, White has a plus. The d-pawn is weak and Black has little counterplay) 17… Qb7 18 Qxd6 Re8 19 Na4 Bf8 20 Qd3 Ng7 21 c5 Ne6 (21..f5 is too rash in a bad position. 22. Qc4, hitting the white squares ties Black further) 22 Qc2 a5 23 Rab1 Rb8 24 b4 axb4 25 axb4 Qc7 26 Nb6 Bg7 27 Nc4 Rf8 28 Nd6 Qd8 29 b5 cxb5 30 c6 Nb6 31 Nf5! (Totally winning. Now only time is the opponent as this is 15 minutes per player) Qc7 32 Nxg7 Kxg7 33 Rxb5 Ba6 34 Rxe5 Bxf1 35 Kxf1 Rfd8 36 Rxd8 Rxd8 37 Rb5 Nc8 38 Qc3+ Kg8 39 Rb7 Qd6 40 Ne5 Qd1+ 41 Kg2 Rd3? (Hard to suggest anything)  42 Nxd3 Nd6 43 Rb8+Nf8 44 Rxf8+ Kxf8 45 Bxh6+ Ke7 46 Bg5+ f6 47 Qxf6 ch, resigns

See entire game here:



Secopito defeats higher rated player

Catherine Perena-Secopito, Palawan’s second board, is showing fine form in fast play. Her victim is Elan Asuela of Camarines, who outranks her by nearly 500 rating points in online play. Asuela uses the Center Game, which usually works vs inexperienced players. But Secopito has made the Philippine Olympiad women’s team seven times, the most by any woman. From a seemingly dry position, Secopito conjures up a Kingside attack but a deeper line defies scrutiny in time pressure. Chess engines show a long time where Asuela’s queen is tied down by Secopito’s Rooks and Black marches the h-pawn against the exposed king.  On the next move, Asuela fails to see a winning resource and resigns as Secopito threatens mate.

Asuela-Secopito, Rapid: 1 e4 e5 2 d4 exd4 (The Center Game gives White rapid development and pressure. It works against lower-rated players). 3 Nf3 Nc6 4 Bc4 Nf6 5 Nxd4 Bc5 6 Nxc6 bxc6 7 Nc3 d6 8 Bg5 O-O 9 O-O Qe7 10 Qd3 h6 11 Bh4 Be6 12 Kh1 Rab8 13 Bb3 Bxb3 14 axb3 (The position has become equal. White’s King’s Bishop, which is quite potent, is off the board). Qe6 15 f4 Rfe8 16 Rae1 Nd7 17 h3 Bb4 18 Bf2 Bc5 19 Bg3 Bb4 20 Qa6 Nc5 21 Qxc6 Bxc3 22 bxc3 Nxe4 23 Bh2 f5 24 Ra1 d5 25 Qxc7 Rbc8 26 Qxa7 Rxc3 27 Ra2 (White’s pawn hunting appears to be bearing fruit. The Queen can go back to the center quickly but Secopito’s next move gives Black some Kside pressure) Nd2! 28 Rfa1 (If 28. Qd4 attacking the Rook, Black can play 28.. Nxf1 29. Qc3 Qe1 30 Qxe1 Rxe1 31. Bg1 Ng3 ch 32. Kh2. Despite  being a pawn down, Black has enough counterplay to keep it level.) Rxh3! 29 Qd4 Qe2? (29…Nf3!! is sharper but with both players down to less than 30 seconds each, can they work it out? An engine line runs 30. gxf3 Qe2 31. Qxd5 ch Kh8 32. c4 Rh2 ch 33. Kg1 Rg2 ch 34. Kh1 Qxa2! 35. Ra2 Ra2 36 Qd1. White is tied down as Black will play Ree2 and then march the h-pawn. The White queen cannot leave the first rank).  30 gxh3? (Online warrior Asuela misses 30. Qd5+ Kh8 31 gxh3 Ne4 32 c4! This is the move the secures White’s second rank and allows him to capture the Rook and live. Both players were under time pressure and there is no increment.) 31 Kg1 Re2. Black forces mate. 0-1



But in their blitz match, Asuela prevailed as Secopito could not convert her advantage.