Gomez's MVP- form leads La Salle to sixth UAAP chess men's crown
by Josef T. Ramos
September 19, 2004

National Master John Paul Gomez was the main reason why De La Salle University snared the men's crown of the 67th Universities Athletics Association of the Philippines chess events on Sunday at the UE briefing room.

The tournament organizer awarded Gomez a back-to-back MVP award garnering 12 wins and two draws. He emerged as one of the best collegiate woodpusher ever produced by the De La Salle community.

"I didn't expect this to happen again.I'm glad to receive not only this MVP award, but winning our sixth consecutive title as well, "said Gomez, who was praised by Giovanni Dy for being a consistent player especially in the second round.

"He did it without a loss, and definitely that was a big factor for us. I hope we will sustain that kind of performance not only here in the UAAP, but also in the other chess events," he added.

Gomez's shining moment does not come as a surprise anymore in the local chess world after upsetting several International Masters, including GM Bong Villamayor in the national Grand Finals three years ago.

"I was very nervous because I knew what it takes to beat him. Despite that, I kept my focus in the game to be able to make the right moves. I was playing white in the game so theoretically speaking, I had the edge over him,"he said.

Besides Gomez, veteran Jayson Salubre and rookies Emmanuel Emperado, Paolo Lorenzo Bautista and Aries Hernandez also shared their efforts to help De La Salle University to cop its sixth title.

UST's Vic Neil Villanueva bagged the rookie of the year award in the men's senior event.

The De La Salle University men's chess team absorbed a non-bearing 1-3 loss to University of the Philippines in the last and 14th round, however, the Taft-based male woodpushers still managed to hook the 67th UAAP men's chess title.

The Green woodpushers remained on top with 37 points while UST, who swept the first round, obtained the second place with 33.5 markers.

Ateneo De Manila University earned the third place after gaining 32 points while University of the Philippines settled for fourth with 30 points.

In the women's side, UP Lady Fighting Maroons' Catherine Peres won the MVP after leading her team with 37.5 points to win the crown. UST women's team hooked with 36 points. Ending at far third was the Lady Green Archers with 26 points.

Pereña did not waste the last round after pulling a win over Beverly Mendoza in a 42 moves of center counter while Melanie Ramos leaned on a 37-Caro Kahn defense to subdue Mylene Santos. Arienne Aguja defeated Janice Lihan after 60 moves of Queen's Pawn.

Gina Edaniol completed the sweep by nipping Chiara Lim in a 58 moves of Queen's pawn, as University of the Philippines swept Ateneo, 4-0, in the last round.

In the junior's play, Nelson Mariano III of UE took home the MVP and Francis De Leon captured the Rookie of the Year.