PH chessers strike again | Inquirer Sports

PH chessers strike again

Paragua sparks 4-0 rout of Kazakhs; ladies bounce back
By: - Editor / @RLuarcaINQ
/ 02:40 AM September 01, 2012

Third Round Standings

Open: 6.0 match points—United States, India, Russia, China, Azerbaijan, Germany, France, England, Philippines, Armenia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary; 5.0—Slovakia, Czech Republic, Norway, Canada, Mongolia, Argentina, Mexico, Turkey, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro

ISTANBUL, Turkey—The Philippine wrecking machine went full throttle Thursday as it crushed Kazakhstan, 4-0, and stayed on top of the heap along with 12 other squads at the 40th Chess Olympiad here.


Grandmaster Mark Paragua triggered the demolition on board 3, International Master Oliver Dimakiling followed suit on board 4, and GM Oliver Barbosa sealed the country’s third straight win on board 2.


Not to be outdone, GM Wesley So extracted the full point on board 1 against GM Rinat Jumabayev (Elo 2525), capping the Filipinos’ best start in the Olymp-iad since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

But they will need to outdo themselves to hurdle rock-solid Armenia in the fourth round starting at 3 p.m. (8 p.m. Manila time) Friday at Istanbul Expo Center.

The Armenians, powered by world No. 2 GM Levon Aronian—the highest-rated player in this year’s edition with an Elo of 2816—trounced the Spaniards, 2.5-1.5, to equal the Filipinos’ perfect 6.0 match points and bolster their bid to regain the Open division crown they last held in the 2008 Olympiad in Dresden, Germany.

Aronian, one of only six players—the others are Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Veselin Topalov, Viswanathan Anand and world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen —to breach the 2800 barrier, will handle black against So (Elo 2652), who is staking a fine record against super GMs.

In 33 games against players rated 2700 and over, the 18-year-old So owns five wins and 28 draws, including one against Topalov in the 2010 Olympiad and GM Viktor Bologan (2734) in the Filipinos’ 2.5-1.5 upset of the Moldovans in the second round. The Filipinos blanked the Libyans, 4-0, in the first round.

So strong is third-seeded Armenia that all its five players tote Elos higher than So’s. GM Sergei Movsesian is at 2698, GM Vladimir Akopian at 2687, GM Gabriel Sargissian at 2693 and veteran GM Tigran Petrosian at 2661.


Barbosa, who downed GM Anuar Ismagambetov in the third round, will tangle with Movsesian; GM Mark Paragua, who tamed GM Petr Kostenko in just 28 moves of the Caro-Kann, will tackle Akopian; and Dimakiling, who posted victory No. 3 at the expense of IM Kirill Kuderinov, will battle Sargissian.

Ranked only 35th, the Philippines is turning out to be a big surprise as it hogged the top spot with reigning titlist Ukraine, the United States, Azerbaijan, Poland, India, Slovakia, China, England, Hungary and Armenia.

The Philippines lay fourth based on game points with 10.5, trailing only 11-pointers US, Azerbaijan and Poland.

Other key third round results saw Ukraine subdue Israel, 2.5-1.5; India trounce Slovenia, 3-1; US clobber Venezuela, 3.5-0.5;  France edge Bulgaria; 2.5-1.5; England whip Cuba, 3-1; and China conquer Romania, 3-1.

The Filipino women, stalled by the Slovenians, 1.5-2.5, in the second round, rebounded with a 3-1 conquest of the Turkmenistan bets. They will try to make it back-to-back against Mexico on Friday.

Rising star Janelle Mae Frayna, a BS Psychology freshman at Far Eastern University, streaked to her third win with black against Aknur Isaeva while Woman IM Catherine Pereña and rookie Olympian Jan Jodilyn Fronda prevailed over WFM Bahar Hallaeva and Ogulgerek Atabaeva on boards 1 and 4, respectively.

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Jedara Docena yielded to WFM Gozel Atabaeva on board 3.

TAGS: 40th Chess Olympiad, Catherine Pereña, Chess, Jan Jodilyn Fronda, Janelle Mae Frayna, Mark Paragua, Wesley So

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