Wesley So Cup hails new PH chess grand champion Pasig City King Pirates

Wesley So Cup Pasig City King Pirates
Wesley So Cup Northern Division winners and Grand Champion, the Pasig City King Pirates. Team Facebook photo.

The 2022 Wesley So Cup welcomed its new Philippine chess grand champion, the Pasig City King Pirates, who delivered an upset victory against the defending champion from the tournament’s inaugural edition of the Philippines and the world’s first government-licensed professional chess league.

The Northern Division champion made history as it won the grand finals games against the Southern Division winners and 2021 Wesley So Cup defending champion, Iloilo Kisela Knights, 2 sets to 1.

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The Kings from Manila delivered an upset against the Knights from the Visayas in the thrilling online chess games face-off held on August 6 which ended via Armageddon in favor of the Pasig City team.

It was a stalemate as the Pasig City King Pirates won the first set, 12.5-8.5, and the Iloilo Kisela Knights won the second set, 15.5-5.5, which set up the do-or-die match.

The championship team of the Wesley So Cup 2022 – also known as the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) Reinforced Conference Season 2 – includes Grandmaster Mark Paragua who played from India where the Philippine team and Wesley So’s U.S. team were both playing at the 44th Chess Olympiad.

The Pasig City King Pirates Champion Team:

  • GM Mark Paragua (US-based)
  • GM Kevin Gho (Import – Singapore)
  • GM Munkgal Gombosuren (Import- Mongolia)
  • IM Idel Datu
  • NM Sherily Cua
  • NM Rudy Ibanez
  • IM Cris Ramayrat
  • Kevin Arquero
  • IM Eric Labog
  • Mark Labog
  • Jerome Villanueva
  • Carl Espallardo (Alt)

The team management includes Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, Rechie Tugawin, and Nana Espina Alonso; Coaching staff Head Coach – Camillo Franco and Assistant Coach – Expedito Bolico Sr.; Technical Team Gerry Paul Nudalo and Carl Espallardo (Social Media).

The Iloilo Kisela Knights team runner-up team was composed of Karl Viktor Ochoa, GM Joey Antonio, and import GM Hovhanes Gabuzyan of Armenia.

The 3rd place winner went to the Negros Kingsmen who beat last year’s Grand Finals finalist, the San Juan Predators, 14.5-6.5.

The Wesley So Cup is named in honor of the Filipino-born reigning and three-time United States Chess Champion who started his career in the Philippines and who continues to support Philippine chess.

The Wesley So Cup reinforced conference kicked off on May 21, 2022, and featured foreign chess players as part of the 24 Filipino teams divided between the north and south divisions.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to the Pasig City King Pirates, the 2022 Wesley So Cup Grand Champion!

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