NATIONAL University opens its bid for a fourth straight men’s championship, while De La Salle stakes its women’s title in the UAAP Season 81 chess tournament today at the University of Santo Tomas’ Quadricentennial Pavilion.
The Bulldogs hope to remain in the throne despite the graduation of last season’s Board 3 gold medalist Fide Master Austin Jacob Literatus and Board 6 silver medalist Neil Conrad Pondoc.
But NU remains formidable for another title run, with reigning three-time MVP IM Paulo Bersamina, last season’s Board 5 silver medallist Christian Magtabog, Robin Ignacio and Rafael Caneda leading the charge.
“Sana nga po mag-champion pa din,” said Bersamina.
The Bulldogs finished the tournament with 41.5 points, way ahead of the Green Woodpushers, who ended up with 33.5 points in second place.
De La Salle is expected to face another stiff challenge from Far Eastern University in the distaff side. The Lady Woodpushers reclaimed the throne, separated by the Lady Tamaraws by just 2.5 points.
Meanwhile, FEU-Diliman is eyeing to retain the juniors crown.
The Baby Tamaraws emerged victorious last season behind IM and Asian Youth champion Marvin Miciano.
Typhoon “Ompong” forced the league to postpone the first two rounds over the weekend.
Now as a first semester sport, chess is the first event to be played thisseason outside of basketball.