PH presses on in 42nd World Chess Olympiad

Grandmaster (GM) Eugene Torre (right) with young chess players. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Grandmaster (GM) Eugene Torre (right) with young chess players. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The Philippines outclassed Nigeria, 3-1, to get back on track in the men’s division while the women’s team absorbed a .5-3.5 defeat to seventh seed India in the third round of the 42nd World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan on Sunday night.

Grandmaster (GM) Eugene Torre posted a 45-move victory over FIDE Master Daniel Anwuli on board three to seal the Filipinos’ win while catapulting them from the middle of the pack to the top 30 with four points.

GMs John Paul Gomez and Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr. overpowered FIDE Master Bomo Kigigha and International Master (IM) Oladapo Adu on boards one and three, respectively, that secured the win.

The Filipinos, who lost to Paraguay in the second round, barged into the top 30 following the win and could climb even further in the standings if they could hurdle the Costa Ricans in the fourth round.

The Filipinos got a scare when IM Paulo Bersamina lost to Candidate Master Adeyinka Adesina on board four after committing an opening game blunder.

Good thing Gomez, Barcenilla and Torre didn’t flinch and turned things around by downing their respective foes to salvage the win.

The women’s team was not as lucky as Woman IM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, Christy Lamiel Bernales and WIM Catherine Secopito fell one after the other to IM Rout Padmini, IM Sachdev Tania and Woman GM Swaminathan Soumya on second to fourth boards that spelled its doom.

Janelle Mae Frayna prevented a shutout by escaping with a draw against GM Dronavalli Harika despite giving up a pawn in the middle game.

The defeat came a day after the Philippines pulled the rug from under four-time champion and fourth seed Georgia, 2.5-1.5, in what could turn out as one of the biggest shockers of this 11-round tournament.

The celebration was short-lived as the Filipinas fell to the more game Indians.

The team will face off with Canada in the next round.


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