Paragua shocks Duda in Chennai Chess Olympiad
By Marlon Bernardino
Sun, 07 Aug 2022
Grandmaster Mark Paragua dismantled reigning World Cup titlist and World No. 18 Jan-Krzysztof Duda on top board to seal the stunning 2-2 deadlock with the Philippines against the 5th seed Poland in the seventh round Friday night to remain in the race in the 44th World Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India.
GM Rogelio "Banjo" Barcenilla Jr. drew with super GM Kacper Piorun on second board that helped catapult the Filipinos, who are backed by the Philippine Sports Commission, in an 18-nation tie at No. 14 with 10 match points apiece.
The country trailed 0.5-1.5 after GM John Paul Gomez drew with GM Wojciech Moranda on third board while GM Darwin Laylo imploded in deep time pressure and blundered away his drawing chances and lost to GM Mateusz Bartel on fourth board.
Good thing Paragua saved the day in pulling off the magnificent result against a team that owns an impressive average rating of 2654 against the country’s 2451 norm.
It was the third time the country caught a big fish with the first two coming at the expense of Sweden, 2.5-1.5, in the fifth round Tuesday and Israel, 2-2, the next round.
Now the Filipinos hope to add another one to their growing list of victims as they were tackling the fancied Greeks in the eighth round at press time.
In the women’s section, the Filipinas stormed back into significance after drubbing the listless Bolivians, 3.5-.5, on wins by WGM Janelle Mae Frayna, and WIMs Marie Antoinette San Diego and Kylen Joy Mordido on boards one, two and four and a draw by WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda on board two.
They were clashing with the favored Slovenians at press time.-Marlon Bernardino-
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Marlon Bernardino.
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