Laguna and Camarines led their respective divisions in advancing to the semifinals of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines third conference held online Wednesday.

The Laguna Heroes routed the Davao Chess Club, 2-0 in the Northern Division while the Camarines Soaring Eagle stunned Team Paralympics, 2-0, in the Southern Division.

Grandmasters Banjo Barcenilla and John Paul Gomez swept all their four matches to pace Laguna in the two-match quarters composed of blitz and rapid events.

Laguna claimed the first match, 16-5, and the second match, 14.5-6.5.

Joining Laguna into the Northern Division semis were Pasig, Caloocan and San Juan.

Pasig topped Rizal, 2-0, while Caloocan survived the Armageddon playoffs over the Manila Indios Bravos, 2-1. The San Juan Predators, for its part, routed Isabela, 2-0.

Camarines, which finished eighth in the Southern Division preliminaries, first survived Team Paralympics, 11-10, before dominating the second duel, 12-9, behind the efforts of GM Mark Paragua and Carlo Lorena.

Also advancing to the Southern Division semis were guest team Penang, Lapu-Lapu and Iloilo.

Penang survived the Armageddon playoffs over Negros, 3-0; Lapu-Lapu also squeaked past the Armageddon decider, 2-1; and Iloilo swept Toledo, 2-0.

Source: Manila Bulletin (