PN file

It has been a wild and wooly ride for Palawan’s Queen Gambit. Wins were interspersed with routs and close losses were followed by setbacks.

But the only all-women’s squad in the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines have nailed down a playoff slot in the quarterfinals. Palawan has emerged with 10 wins and 23 losses good enough to hug seventh place out of 12 teams in the Southern Conference.

Palawan could face Mindoro, Cebu, or Surigao who all have nine wins and 24 matches. But what is important whichever team faces Palawan, it has to win twice to advance into the quarterfinals.

Palawan’s highest-scoring player is Marie Antoniette San Diego, with 37 wins 10 draws, and 19 losses followed by its Indian import Padmini Rout, with 29 wins, 12 draws, and 21 losses.

San Diego, who mans board six and Rout board two, have notched their wins against men, some of whom are strong online players. However, Rout could be missed as the former Asian women’s continental champ is competing in the Women’s World Cup which starts Monday night in Sochi, Russia.

Comebacking Olympiad star Beverly Mendoza has turned in 29 wins, 12 draws and 21 losses as she mans board three, where she faces women players. Puerto Princesa City-based Jeserel Maberit has stepped up with four wins and four losses.

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