St. Nicholas win Bankers League Division "B" Crown

Division B championship match
(St. Nicholas Unknowns & The Ronin)

Peter Roberts (2057) 4-0  Ernesto Encarnacion (2161)
James Harris (1893) 0-4 Manuel Jurado (1960 )
Al Freeman (1812) 0-4  Isaias Soriano (1955)
Ken Moody (1784) 4-0  Jason Policarpio (1740)

Game pts. 8-8
Match pts. 4-0
Total pts 12-8

For those who want to know more info, it was a tight, intense match. St. Nicholas (Harlem) wins the Bankers League crown by salvaging a draw in the championship match against "The Ronin." Led by Peter Roberts, St. Nicholas were also undefeated in the 15-round regular season.

(Note: The following report was written by Mark Alban and forwarded by Bob Ali.)

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Manuel Jurado and Isaias Soriano of the Ronin were the first to win, so all we needed was one draw. Just a draw on either of the 2 remaining boards!!! Jurado had sacrificed a rook (without material compensation) on board 2 to gain position and tempo against James Harris. What looked to me and my co-captain like a terrible blunder, turned out to be a winning position and forced mate. When Harris recognized the inevitable, he conceded. Soriano came down to K, R, pawn vs. K & R against Al Freeman on board 3. Freeman fought hard all game and kept fighting to the bitter end, but couldn't pull out a draw.

It seemed we had St. Nick backed into a corner, but
Peter Roberts and Ken Moody showed the resolve it takes to win a championship! Roberts had a fairly even game against Ernie Encarnacion on board 1. He methodically advanced his way into a winning position, moving closer and closer to mate and/or winning material advantage. Encarnacion finally resigned when the game was out of reach.

That left the entire season in the hands of St. Nick's fearless leader, Ken Moody, on board 4 vs.
Jason Policarpio. Moody was down the exchange with a Rook & 2 Knights (+ King & pawns) vs. Policarpio's Bishop and 2 Rooks (+ King & pawns). But Policarpio was in terrible time trouble. With little time to think in the end, Policarpio couldn't come up with a favorable position. Moody maneuvered to 1 move away from checkmating Policarpio when time ran out on Policarpio and the Ronin's season. Excellent win by the undefeated St. Nicholas Unknowns!

Posted by The Chess Drum: 15 June 2005