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List of Articles by Marlon Bernardino

PH men's chessers rise as women's tumble in 8th round of the 43rd Chess Olympiad

By Marlon Bernardino
03 Oct 2018

THE men’s team carried the cudgels for the Philippines on Tuesday following the defeat of their female counterparts in the 8th round of the 43rd Chess Olympiad being held at the Sports Place in Batumi, Georgia.

Led by Grandmaster Julio Catalino Sadorra (Elo 2553), the 54th seed Filipino squad toppled 67th seed Uruguay, 3-1, to compensate for the 1.5-2.5 trashing the 43rd seed women’s team suffered at the hands of 30th seed Argentina.

Sadorra, playing the disadvantageous black pieces, defeated Grandmaster Andres Rodriguez Vila (2477) in 42 moves of Philidors defense on board one while International Master Haridas Pascua (2435), handling the white side, subdued Fide Master Rafael Muniz (2248) in 29 moves of King's Indian defense on board four.

Grandmaster John Paul Gomez (2464), on the other hand, employing the white pieces, split the point with Fide Master Nicolas Lopez Azambuja (2322) in 61 moves of Catalan Opening on board two as did International Master Jan Emmanuel Garcia (2439), handling the black side, against International Master Luis Ernesto Rodi (2308) in 60 moves of Giuco Piano Opening on board three.

Their fifth win against three losses boosted the men's team total to ten points for a share of 33th to 54th places among 185 entries in the Open section.

In contrast, the women’s squad, with Woman International Master Marie Antoinette San Diego (2102) won her match against Woman International Master Ayelen Martinez while Woman International Master Bernadette Galas (2080) drew with Woman International Master Marisa Zuriel (2186), remained at nine points and dropped into a tie for 45th to 63th places in the 151-team field.

Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna (2287) and Woman International Master Catherine Perena-Secopito (2157), meantime bowed to International Master Carolina Lujan (2350) and Woman International Master Maria Florencia Fernandez (2219),respectively.

Up next for the Filipinos whose team captain is Asia's First Grandmaster Eugene Torre is 95th seed Zambia, 4-0 winner over 109th seed Jamaica.

The country's female squad, whose team captain is Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales faces 77th seed South Korea, who yielded to 35th seed Slovenia, 1.5-2.5.

Top seed and defending champion of the United States crushed fourth seed Azerbaijan, 2.5-1.5, to raise their total output of 15 points and grabbed the leadership board in the men's division with three rounds left to go.

World Championships challenger Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana (2827) and Grandmaster Samuel Shankland (2722) delivered the crucial wins for the United States ob boards one and four while Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura (2763) claiming draw on board three.

Filipino Grandmaster Wesley So (2776) suffered his first loss against Azerbaijan Grandmaster Teimour Radjabov (2751) in 46 moves of Queen's Gambit Declined.

Despite the setback, the Bacoor, Cavite native So is the best performer thus far with 6.0 points in eight games on account of five wins, two draws and one loss in board two.

According to National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) director and MVP Olympics PLDT Team Manager Martin "Binky" Gaticales that the Philippine team to its best-ever seventh-place finish in the 1988 World Chess Olympiad in Thessaloniki, Greece. Women's Team, on the other hand making it to the Top 22nd place then.(Marlon Bernardino).

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