GM Barcenilla, WNM Enriquez star as Laguna routs Toledo for share of lead in PCAP

Published February 26, 2021, 1:43 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

Grandmaster Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla Jr. and Woman National Master Jean Karen Enriquez trounced their respective foes with the Black pieces as the Laguna Heroes thrashed the Toledo City Trojans, 18-3, in the online Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) All-Filipino Conference held via on Wednesday, Feb. 24. 

The Arizona, USA-based GM Barcenilla, a former two-time Asian Junior champion, whipped Ronald Ganzon in 51 moves of the Italian Game’s Two Knights Defense on board one. 

For her part, WNM Enriquez outplayed Jinky Catulay in 73 moves of the Scandinavian Defense on board three. 

“I think WNM Jean Karen Enriquez showed a good quality of chess today,” said Alfredo “Fred” Paez, president of the Philippine Executive Chess Association and one of the four co-team owners of the Heroes. 

Laguna’s strong start sparked by Barcenilla and Enriquez was a big boost as FIDE Master Jose Efren Bagamasbad beat National Master Carlos Cabuenos on board four, Vince Angelo Medina tripped Richard Natividad on board six and Kimuel Aaron Lorenzo nipped Christopher Tubalado on board seven for a lopsided 12-2 victory in the rapid section. 

Laguna’s board five player GM John Paul Gomez and board two bet Austin Jacob Literatus settled for draws with Toledo’s National Master Rogelio Enriquez Jr. and National Master Rommel Ganzon, respectively. 

The Heroes, who are backed by by Greatech Philippines, Inc., SDC Global Choice and Jolly Smile Dental Clinic, also prevailed convincingly over the Trojans, 6-1, in the blitz portion. 

Laguna earlier smothered the Surigao Fianchetto Checkamates, 15-6. 
The back-to-back dominant wins enabled the Heroes to wrest the joint leadership with the San Juan Predators on a similar 18-3 record in the Northern Division of the 24-team professional chess league. 

Laguna will look to get the solo lead when it tangles with the Zamboanga Sultans and the Camarines Soaring Eagles on Saturday night, Feb. 27.