The NCAA Season 92 Chess Tournament unfolded at Jose Rizal University campus in Mandaluyong City on Sunday, with Arellano University seeking a three-peat feat in the Seniors Division and San Beda College eyeing a title repeat in the Juniors Section.

The Chiefs will be the heavy favorites to win the event for the third straight year after keeping the core of their team from last year headed by Carlo Caranyagan, Don Tyrone delos Santos, Kyz Llantada and Tucker Howard Viernes.

Coached by National Master Rudy Ibanez, Arellano U beat Lyceum of the Philippines University, which took the first round pennant, in the finals in a gripping duel to capture their second straight crown in this event to be hosted by Jose Rizal’s athletic director Paul Supan.

“With the proper preparation and training, we’ll have a strong chance to win again this year”, said Ibanez.

The event was officially ushered in by former Senator Rene Saguisag, a chess player himself, in simple opening rites.

“Sports build character and chess is definitely a discipline that helps in character building by training the student athletes to focus, think ahead and the strategic”, said Supan.

“That’s why the NCAA continues to promote the sport and discover new talents”, he added.

Chess is the second sport to be played in the first semester this season after basketball.

Other disciplines lined up this semester are badminton, swimming, and table tennis, which also unfurls this month, and taekwondo, which slated next month.