The much-touted Palawan Queen’s Gambit chess team is set to face a powerhouse Iloilo squad led by GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio, Jr. Saturday night (January 16) at the opening round of the 2021 Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) First Conference.
Chess enthusiasts are anticipating how the country’s first all-women chess team representing Palawan will hold up against a tough field of 24 teams representing various cities and provinces nationwide. The women woodpushers are bannered by WIM Marie Antoinette San Diego and WNM Carmelita Abanes and includes three other homegrown players.
The other Palawan players are Mikee Charlene Suede, Cecilia Cuizona, and homegrowns Marife dela Torre, Yanika Seratubias, and Jesibel Maberit.
Susan Neri is also in the Palawan line-up as its playing coach. The team is owned and managed by Jorge Mitra.
Chess analyst and veteran sports journalist Ignacio Dee told Palawan News he believes Iloilo is the stronger team but expects Palawan to put up “a fighting game”.
Saturday’s game is scheduled at 7 p.m. and will be played online under the Rapid (15 minutes time control) and Blitz (3 minutes, 2 sec increment) formats. The games can be followed at the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines’s (PCAP) website.