BAGUIO CITY--- THREE unsuspecting national chessers were ambushed by Philippine Military Academy cadets late Saturday in a 48-board simultaneous exhibition held at the Longayban Hall in Fort Del Pilar.
    International Master Jayson Gonzales, almost lost his iron gut as he took two losses, two draws against 12 wins in his 16-board battle. Claiming the scalp of the Southern Californian champion was Golf Company's Cadet 3cl Rommel Sotero of Baguio City and Cadet 3cl Rowen de Leon of Angeles City, both of whom exhibited grace under pressure in the nail-biting endgame. The encounters of Gonzalez with Cadet 3/CGlenn Fortes of Caloocan City and 4cl Maynard Fernandez of Angeles City ended in a ceasefire.
    IM Nelson Mariano, on the other hand, was able to find his rhythm immediately and registered 15 wins, save for a draw offered by Foxtrot Company's Cadet 4cl Dennis Araiz of Ubay, Bohol.
    His elder sister, Cristine Rose, also settled for a truce in one of her eight-board fights. The many-time national women's champion posted seven triumphs but almost gave in to the thumbs of Charlie Company's Cadet 3cl Amabelle Campos of Bacoor, Cavite City.
    Woman Fide Master Sherrie Joy Lomibao was the only one who remained unscathed as she made short work of all her opponents carding an eight-win, zero-loss log in just 15 minutes of action.
"This four against 48 simul display is designed to motivate our cadets and enhance the development of the sport in the Armed Forces as well," said Major General Edilberto Adan, PMA Superintendent, said during the opening ceremonies.
    Earlier, Lieutenant Junior Grade Ryan Celino, Cadet 1/c Mark Serapion Lagud, Jr. and Cadet 1/c Angelito Afable and the participating players welcomed the RP team via the traditional boodle fight.
    Aside from helping revive interest in the sport among PMA cadets, the chess simul also served as a training exposure for Gonzales, Lomibao and Cristine Rose, the three of which will be leaving December 2 for the Southern East Asian Games in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

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