• Filipinas still in hunt in Chess Olympiad

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    The Philippines vented its ire on listless Belgium, 4-0, to jump back to contention in the women’s division while soothing the pain of the men’s team’s heartbreaking 1.5-2.5 defeat to 14th seed Spain after eight rounds of 42nd World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan.

    A day after getting bashed by No. 8 Hungary, the Filipinas regained form as Woman International Master (WIM) Janelle Mae Frayna, WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, WIM Catherine Secopito and Woman FIDE Master (WFM) Shania Mae Mendoza devoured WFM Hanne Goossens, Wiebke Barbier, Sarah Dierckens and Astrid Barbier, respectively, to zoom to an eight-team tie at No. 13 with 11 points each.

    The one-sided triumph more than made up for the Philippines’ 1-3 smashing it suffered to Hungary that got the former evicted from its place in the top 10.

    The Filipinas could get it back if they could summon the same magic against the 15th-seeded Mongolians in the ninth round.

    In contrast, the Philippines couldn’t do the same in the men’s side as US-based Grandmasters (GM) John Paul Gomez and Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr. fell to GMs Francisco Vallejo Pons and David Anton Guijarro on first and third boards.

    The pair of defeats negated the victory of GM Eugene Torre over GM Ivan Salgado Lopez on second board and the a draw by IM Paulo Bersamina with GM Jose Carlos Ibarra Jerez at fourth board.

    It was the second straight defeat by the Filipinos after absorbing a 1.5-2.5 loss to Italy the round before.

    If there is any consolation, the 64-year-old Torre, rated just 2447 and facing way higher-rated foes, stay unbeaten as he now has seven points on six wins and two standoffs in eight games for an impressive performance rating of 2771.

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