So much hope at the start but now Palawan is four wins and 11 losses as the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines holds the inter-division of the Wesley So Cup Conference. This means Palawan, which belongs to the Southern Division, meets teams from the Northern Division.
Palawan is eighth out of 11 teams in the Southern Division. The Wesley So Cup Conference has a long way to go but for Palawan to be among six qualifiers to the quarterfinals, it has to stop losing crucial matches.
Despite some good individual results, Palawan has only won one match in the second phase of the Wesley So Cup Conference. Saturday’s double heart breaks is like two punches to the belly for Palawan which missed a big chance to upset Laguna or Manila.
Laguna, the first conference winner, dominated the blitz games 6-1 but were held 7-all by Palawan in the rapid games where the highlight was Indian import Padmini Rout, with brisk tactics, defeating Rogelio Barcenilla Jr.
Had Shania Mae Mendoza held against AJ Literatus and Catherine Secopito did not lose to Vince Medina, then the result may be different than the 13-8 count. Their positions out of the opening were equal.
R. Barcenilla-Padmini Rout, Rapid, Manila vs Palawan: 1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. e4 e5 6. Nge2 Nge7 7. d3 O-O 8. h4 h5 9. Bg5 d6 10. Qd2 f6 11. Be3 Rb8 12. Rb1 a6 13. a3 b5 14. cxb5 axb5 15. b4 Nd4 16. O-O Be6 17. f4 Qd7 18. fxe5 fxe5 19. Bg5 Kh7 20. Kh2 c4 21. dxc4 Bxc4 22.Rxf8 Rxf8 23. Ng1 Ng8 24. Nd1 Nh6 25. Ne3 Ng4+ 26. Nxg4 hxg4 27. Kh1 Ra8 28. Qc3 d5 29. Kh2 dxe4 30. Bxe4 Bd5 31. Re1 Bxe4 32. Rxe4 Qf5 33. Qe3 Rxa3 34. Qxa3
Qxe4 35. Qa2 Qe1 36. Qf7 Nf3+ 37. Nxf3 Qf2+ 38. Kh1 gxf3 0-1
Manila eked out a 13-8 victory vs Palawan in a match where the rooks dictated the destiny of Palawan. Beverly Mendoza had this position against Mira Mirano
She could have found 68. Ra7! and if 68… c3 69. Rc3! restraining the pawn, and preparing to advance the g-pawn.
And if Shania Mae had a bit more time in this position against Manila’s Indonesian import Yoseph Taher in this rapid game, then it would have been 11-10 for Palawan from these two missed chances.
Shania Mae (White) is a rook up but Taher hung on, winning on time.