MANILA, Philippines -- University of Sto. Tomas showed some signs of weakness before holding off Adamson University, 2.5-1.5, to retain the top spot after Round 7 of the UAAP Season 85 Men's Chess Championships, Sunday at the FEU Tech Gym in Manila.
The Growling Tigers compiled 23 points after seven rounds but second-running University of the Philippines mounted a second round comeback, taking down contenders De La Salle University and Far Eastern University to stay within striking distance at 18 points with three rounds left in the season.
Julius Gonzales (5.5 pts/7 games) continued to lord over the top board with a 54-move conquest of Adamson's Vince Arellano (0/5).
Antonio Almodal III (3/3) also gave UST a win after scoring his third straight victory courtesy of a 60-move knight endgame triumph against Arena Fide Master Alfonso Olendo (1.5/5).
Lee Roi Palma (6/7) salvaged a draw in Board 2 across John Frederick Sunga (3/7) after 42 moves of the Guiocco Piano to secure the win for UST even as Mark Reyes (1/2) faltered against Adamson's Matt Ramos (2/3) via a 58th move mate.
Fide Master Stephen Pangilinan (6/7) led UP's 4-0 shutout win over Far Eastern University with a win in Board 1 over Hans Ezekiel Olorosisimo (3/6).
In Board 2, Mark James Marcellana (2.5/6) scored a massive upset of National Master John Merill Jacutina (3.5/7) while Jan Daryl Batula (5.5/7) overcame National Master Lorenzo Cantela (4/7) in Board 3.
Joshov Rosarda (2/3) scored his second straight victory with a victory over John Kenneth Gelua (2/3).
Ateneo de Manila University then scored its maiden season win with a 2.5-1.5 win over archrival De La Salle University.
Candidate Master Paul Llanillo (2.5/7) scored a full point in Board 2 with a conquest of La Salle's Daniel John Lemi (2.5/7).
Christopher Kis-Ing (5/7), Rico Calderon (0.5/4), and Paolo Villa (0.5/3) then settled for draws against Cyril Telesforo (5.5/7), Kris Olvido (1.5/3) and Francis Guimalan (2.5/3), respectively, in Boards 1, 3 and 4, respectively.
National University remained undefeated after 11 rounds in the UAAP Season 85 Women's Chess Championship with a 3-1 win over University of the Philippines.
The Lady Bulldogs increased their total to 25.5 points with three rounds left. Far Eastern University remained a close second with 22 points but with only two games left while De La Salle University, who still has three matches, is at third with 21 points.
Woman National Master Bea Mendoza (7/10) recovered from a Saturday mishap with a much-needed win over Jashua Patria (2/10) in Board 2, to combine with Candidate Master Divine Luna's (4/8) triumph in Board 3 over Queenie Samarita (3/10).
Woman Fide Master Allaney Jia Doroy (7/9) delivered the goods on Board 1 after surviving a late scare and emerging on top of a 65-move rook endgame over UP's Precious Ferrer (3/8).
Woman International Master Kylen Joy Mordido (8/9) followed suit by surviving a mating attack and executing perfect counterplay to win material and conquer Justnin Macapuno (4.5/8) in 47 moves of the Sicilian Defense playing the black pieces.
Jesca Docena (6/9) and Princess Ballete finished (4.5/8) with draws in Boards 3 and 4, respectively, against Jee-Ann Barry (2.5/6) and Jallen Agra (4/8), respectively.
Far Eastern University also took a 2.5-1.5 win over Adamson University to hold on to the second spot.