MANILA -- University of Santo Tomas has virtually secured the title in the UAAP Season 86 men's chess competition, thanks to a 4-0 win over Adamson University on Saturday at the FEU Tech Gym in Manila.
With 16 match points under its belt, UST established a sufficient cushion in the tiebreaker against its closest pursuer, Ateneo de Manila University, currently at 14 match points.
This is UST's third straight title in men's chess, and their tenth overall.
Melito Ocsan Jr. [7/9] boosted his MVP aspirations by scoring his seventh point, taking down John Rocel Simon [1/8] in just 23 moves of the Sicilian Defense: Hyperaccelerated while playing the white pieces on Board 2.
National Master Chester Reyes [8.5/9] similarly dominated on Board 3, forcing Jolar Ballobar [0.5/6] to resign after just 30 moves due to a genius tactical play that compelled his rival to surrender a full rook.
Meanwhile, Far Eastern University inched closer to a podium finish after a 2.5-1.5 result against De La Salle University.
Also virtually assured of the championship, this time in the women's side, is Far Eastern University.
This, after FEU rebounded from a stinging loss in the previous round with a dominant 3-1 triumph over University of the Philippines, also on Saturday.
FEU, which placed fourth in Season 85, will take a bye on the final day of matches and finish with 19 match points. They dethroned the two-time defending champion National University, which is currently in second place with 15 match points, while Ateneo de Manila University is a close third with 14 match points.
FEU-Diliman, meanwhile, successfully defended its title in the girls' division after a 3.5-1.5 conquest of its closest rival, National University Nazareth School on Saturday.
With 13 match points under its belt, FEU-D established a three-point gap over NUNS for the title race, heading into the final round of action. They have now bagged two titles since the Juniors Division was split into two starting Season 81.
In the Boys Division, UST arranged a title match against FEU-D in the final round after scoring a 3-1 result against De La Salle Zobel.