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2011 National Inter-Cities & Municipalities Chess Team Championshipposted: Nov.8, 2011 10PM
TANAUAN CITY – National Master Hamed Nouri and Sander Severino scored stunning victories on boards one and two in the "Armageddon" playoff to lift Bacolod Negros/NICA past the heavily favored Mandaluyong City, 3-1, and into the finals of the 2011 National Inter-Cities and Municipalities Chess Team Championship yesterday at the Tanauan Event Center here. Bacolod will meet Tandag City in the finals.
In the "Armageddon," the player handling the white pieces is given a 6-5 advantage in time but the player with the black pieces needs only a draw to win.
Hamed, playing with white, beat Grandmaster Rogelio "Joey" Antonio while Severino, playing with black, shocked noted blitz player FIDE Master David Elorta by holding him to a draw.
Joel Pimentel secured the win by beating board three gold medalist Francis Glen Panes. Jose Vito Tapulgo scored the lone point for the team supported by Mayor Benhur Abalos, Jr. and Rep. Neptali Gonzales II by taking the scalp of Bacolod reserve Raymond dela Pena.
Mandaluyong squandered a chance to take it in regulation when board three gold medalist Francis Glen Panes missed several winning lines in his match against Joel Pimentel.
Panes was one piece up and had a slight positional advantage in the middle game, but Pimentel managed to salvage a draw in the end game despite being a pawn down.
Bacolod drew first blood in the heated semifinal affair by beating Elorta. Mandaluyong leveled the score as Tapulgo toppled Marvin Ting on board four and Antonio split the point with Hamed on board one.
Tandag also leaned on their top players to score a 2.5-1.5 win over Davao City in the other semifinal match.
Grandmaster Richard Bitoon got the better of International Master Oliver Dimakiling (corrected) on board one while IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia defeated NM Edgar Reggie Olay on board two. - Noli Cruz (Monday Nov.7, 2011)