By Adrian Stewart Co
Negros Kingsmen underwent massive roster overhaul ahead of the 2021 Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) San Miguel Corporation-Ayala Land chess championship, which will open today.
According to Kingsmen co-team owner Antonio Martin Olendo, they acquired the services of FIDE Master Mari Joseph Turqueza from the Rizal Batch Tower via trade in exchange for Bacolodnon Joel Pimentel.
“We were saddened with the departure of Joel but we are excited to have Turqueza on board. He is a former Philippine Olympiad player and his experience is a great plus to the Kingsmen,” said Olendo.
The Kingsmen also added up to its female players with former Zamboanga Sultans player National Master Jenny Mayor, La Carlota City’s Theseus Benitez and Sagay City’s Angeline Biñan.
“The team is fortunate that Jenny is available after being put on restricted free agent by Zamboanga. While we also get a couple of players through the Negros-wide tryout,” Olendo.
Returning for the Kingsmen were FM Nelson Mariano III, FM Randy Segarra, AGM Rowelyn Joy Acedo, NM Rolzon Roullo, Adrian dela Cruz, Reynaldo Flores, and Junaico Segismar.
The Kingsmen management is composed of Carlo Fontelo of Metro Dumaguete Water; Cebu-based businesswoman Jeanshen Rosalem; Atty. Rodelio Solon; and Olendo of Land Bank.
“The team will definitely go all out in the upcoming conference. It is the last this season and we want to be on the podium,” said Fontelo. “Also, there will be foreign teams joining so it is an exciting conference.”
“The players really did their homework during the offseason. Defining our errors in the previous conference so that we will have a stronger finish by the year’s end,” he added.
During the first conference and the Wesley So Cup, the Kingsmen failed to reach the podium after being defeated both times in the Southern Division semifinals./ASC, WDJ