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UST chessers stay undefeated

University of Santo Tomas preserved its unbeaten slate after adding De La Salle University to its list of victims with a 3-1 decision in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 men’s chess tournament yesterday at the FEU Diliman Sports Complex.

The Tiger Woodpushers hiked their total points to 11 after three rounds — four points clear of second-running University of the Philippines and Far Eastern University.

Brylle Gever Vinluan continued to lord it over in Board 2 following a 41-move demolition of Daniel John Lemi courtesy of a superior endgame position to remain perfect.

But it was Antonio Almodal III in Board 4 who clinched the win for UST as he made his presence felt with a successful debut after a 51-move Sicilian Defense victory over Jester Sistoza.

On the other hand, Julius Gonzales and Lee Roi Palma settled for draws in Boards 1 and 3, respectively, for the Tiger Woodpushers.

Meanwhile, Season 84 runner-up University of the Philippines and Ateneo de Manila University ended in a 2-2 split.

Fide Master Stephen Rome Pangilinan sustained his lethal form and scored his third win in as many matches in Board 1 while Jan Darryl Batula scored UP’s finals points with a victory in Board 3.

FEU scored its first series win of the season after settling for back-to-back draws for a 3-1 win over Adamson University.

Hans Ezekiel Olorosisimo (Board 1) and Arena International Master Jarvey Labanda (Board 4) won their respective matches as National Masters John Merill Jacutina (Board 2) and Lorenzo Aaron Cantela (Board 3) settled for draws.

On the distaff side, defending champion National University surprised FEU, 2.5-1.5 to move within half a game behind its victim for 6.5 points tied with UST after three rounds.

Woman International Master Kylen Joy Mordido (Board 2) outplayed fellow master WNM Bea Mendoza with the white pieces in 44-moves of the English opening while Jesca Docena (Board 3) upset Candidate Master Divine Grace Luna while playing black, forcing mate by the 45th move of a Sicilian Defense.

Season 84 Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player WFM Allaney Jia Doroy faltered on the top board after FEU’s Me Ann Joy Baclayon executed a queen sacrifice in the middle game to win material en route to a comfortable endgame victory.

Princess Nicole Ballete salvaged a draw in Board 4 to ensure NU’s second victory in as many matches.

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