Armenians stop PH run
Dimakiling faltersBy Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Round 4 Standings
8 points—Ukraine Hungary, Armenia, Russia: 7 points—Germany, France, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Argentina, United States, India, Canada, England, Croatia, Montenegro; 6 points—China, Spain, Bulgaria, Israel, Philippines, Poland, Brazil, Georgia, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, FYROM, Serbia, Vietnam, Italy, Ireland, Kyrgyztan, Paraguay, Qatar, Iceland, Peru, Iran
8 points—Russia, France; 7 points—Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Georgia, Ukraine, Latvia, Slovakia, China, India; 6 points—Moldova, Hungary, Vietnam, United States, Slovenia, Israel, Ecuador, Czech Republic, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Spain, Azerbaijan, Mongolia, South Africa, Philippines, Montenegro, Switzerland, Estonia, Costa Rica, Argentina
ISTANBUL, Turkey—Grandmaster Wesley So forged a draw with world No. 2 GM Levon Aronian in their board 1 tussle, but the Philippines fell short of holding mighty Armenia to a standoff and lost, 1.5-2.5, Friday in Round 4 of the 40th Chess Olympiad.
Pitted against the highest rated player here with an Elo of 2816, So (2652) showed his talent, splitting the point with the white pieces after 51 moves of a Ruy Lopez-Rio Gambit Accepted.
GMs Oliver Barbosa (2554) and Mark Paragua (2508) likewise drew with touted opponents Sergei Movsesian (2698) and Vladimir Akopian (2687), respectively, on boards 2 and 3, at the Istanbul Expo Center.
But International Master Oliver Dimakiling, treading an unfamiliar line with black, saw his three-game winning run in board 4 broken in just 25 moves of a Blumenfeld Variation by GM Gabriel Sargissian (2693).
Despite their first loss in the 11-round tournament, however, the Filipinos remained track for a top 20 finish in the Open division that lured a record 158 countries to this historic metropolis.
The Filipinos, sharing 16th to 36th spots with 6.0 match points, will try to bounce back when they tackle the Icelanders in Round 5 starting at 3 p.m. (8 p.m. in Manila) Saturday.
Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre (Elo 2649), whose mother was buried in Manila Saturday morning, will finally suit up, facing GM Throstur Thorhallsson (2426) as he takes over board 3 from Paragua.
So will tangle with GM Hannes Stefansson (Elo 2515), Barbosa will tackle GM Henrik Danielsen (2506), while Paragua will battle IM Dagur Arngrimsson (2375) when he slides to board 4.
The Filipino women, with streaking Janelle Mae Frayna (1991) at the helm, notched their second straight 3-1 victory at the expense of the Mexicans and also wheeled back into contention in the Women’s division with 6.0 points.
Frayna, a Far Eastern University BS Psychology freshman, who posted the Philippines’ highest finish of 22nd in the girls’ World Juniors in India last year, bids for win No. 5 when she faces WIM Cecile Van der Merve in board 2.
WIM Catherine Perena meets WGM Melissa Greeff on board 1; Jedara Docena clashes with WIM Denise Frick on board 3 while De La Salle mainstay Jan Jodilyn Fronda eyes her third consecutive triumph against Woman Fide Master Tshepang Tlale on board 4.
Against Mexico, the 16-year-old Frayna won over WIM Lorena Alejandra Mendoza Velasquez; Perena beat WFM Carime Real Pereyra, and Fronda bested Janet Sarai Vasquez Flores.
So, who stretched his unblemished record against 2700+ opponents to 34 matches, merited praise from Aronian, one of only six players ever to breach the 2800 barrier, in an interview after the fifth round.