Torre, Fronda emerge as Philippine team top scorers in World Chess Olympiad

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ASIA’s first Grandmaster Eugene Torre and former World Youth Championships campaigner Jan Jodilyn Fronda emerged as the Philippines’ leading scorers at the halfway mark of the 41st World Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway.

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Torre, who is making a record 22nd appearance in the world’s biggest chess stage, leads the way with 3.5 points on two wins and three draws for the 52nd-seeded Philippine team.

The 62-year-old Filipino champion, who made his debut in the 19th Olympiad in Siegen, Germany in 1970, won over Hamidullah Sarwary of Afghanistan in the first round and International Master Mikael Agopov of Finland in the fourth round. He drew against IM Denis Kadric of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the second round, GM Anton Korobov of Ukraine in the third round and IM Cristobal Henriquez of Chile in the fifth round.

United States-based GM Julio Catalino Sadorra and IM Paulo Bersamina have three points on two wins, two draws and one loss on boards one and four.

GM John Paul Gomez has two points on one win, two draws and two losses while manning board two.

Overall, the Philippines is tied for 25th to 43rd places with seven points in three wins, one draw and one loss.

The Filipinos, who are hoping to improve their 21st-place finish in the 2012 Istanbul Olympiad, won over Afghanistan, 3.5-.5; Finland, 2.5-1.5; and Chile, 2.5-1.5. They drew against Bosnia, 2-2, and lost to former champion Ukraine .1-3.

After a rest day on Thursday, the Philippines returns to action against No. 41 seed Austria. In the women’s division, Fronda is the country’s leading player with 3.5 points on two wins, two draws and one loss. The multi-awarded campaigner from UAAP champion La Salle swept her first three assignments against Gladys Anne Paloma of Palau in the first round, Natalya Myronenko of Ukraine in the second round and WGM Karina Szczepkowska-Horowska of Poland in the third round.

The 20-year-old Fronda, however, lost to IM Ana Matnadze of Spain in the fourth round and drew with WGM Adriana Nikolova of Bulgaria the following round.

Women’s International Master Chardine Cheradee Camacho and WIM Janelle Mae Frayna have 2.5 points on 2-1-2 win-draw-loss record in the first two boards.

WIM Catherine Perena had 1.5 points on one win, one draw and one loss on board four, while Christy Lamiel Bernales has yet to earn a point in two games.

The 64th-seeded Filipinas, who are now tied for 61st-74th places with five points, won over Palau, 4-0, and ICCD, 3.5-.5; drew with Poland, 2-2; and lost to Spain, 0-4, and Bulgaria, .5-3.5.

In the sixth round, the Philippines will play against No. 95 United Arab Emirates.

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