PH chess aces pull off twin kill | Inquirer Sports

PH chess aces pull off twin kill

By: - Editor / @RLuarcaINQ
/ 09:40 PM September 02, 2012

ISTANBUL, Turkey—Team Philippines rebounded with another twin kill in the fifth round of the Open and Women divisions Saturday, boosting its chances at the 40th Chess Olympiad here.

Grandmasters Oliver Barbosa and Mark Paragua hurdled their board 2 and 4 rivals to power the men’s team to a 3-1 victory over Iceland and to a share of fifth to 21st places with eight match points on four wins and one loss.

Top seed Russia and No. 3 Armenia have perfect 10 points each while Azerbaizan and Croatia trailed a point behind.

The Filipino women, with Woman International Master Catherine Pereña and Jedara Docena extracting the full point, posted their third straight 3-1 victory at the expense of the South Africans and jumped to eight points.

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They were tied for sixth to 16th in the division also being paced by Russia with 10 points, just a point up on China, Poland, Serbia and Slovakia.

Thus far, both PH teams are contending for category honors in the biennial meet that drew a record field of 157 countries and 1,407 players.

Rated only 35th, the Filipinos head Group B (teams seeded 32nd to 62nd) while their female counterparts, ranked 57th, are on track of duplicating their Group C (teams ranked 51st to 75th) triumph in the 2006 Turin Olympiad.

A day after holding Armenian Super GM Levon Aronian—the tournament’s highest-rated player with an Elo of 2816—to a truce, Filipino GM Wesley So couldn’t gain headway with black and settled for a draw with Iceland’s board 1 player GM Hannes Stefansson.

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Given the chance to play on the day his mother was buried back home, Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre drew with GM Throstur Thorhalsson on board 3 to seal the Filipinos’ victory and raise their game points total to 15.0, trailing Azerbaijan (16.5) but ahead of Russia and Armenia (14.5 each).

The Filipinos, with board 5 player IM Oliver Dimakiling chipping in 3.0 points, earlier blanked the Libyans (4-0), upset the Moldovans (2.5-1.5) and routed the Kazakhs (4-0) before yielding to the two-time champion Armenians (1.5-2.5).

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Methodically ripping the defenses of GM Henrik Danielsen with white, the 25-year-old Barbosa won in 35 moves of a Bogo-Indian while Paragua, also handling white, subdued IM Dagur Amgrimddon after 48 moves of the Slav Modern Line.

The Filipinos, out to redeem themselves from a worst-ever 50th place finish in the 2010 Khanty-Mansisysk Olympiad, will battle the strong 10th-seeded Bulgarians in the sixth round Monday.

Bulgaria beat Peru, 2.5-1.5, Saturday.

Led by Super GM Veselin Topalov (Elo 2752), Bulgaria also boasts GM Kiril Georgiev (2682), GM Ivan Cheparinov (2681), GM Alexander Delcher (2596) and GM Momchil Nikolov (2563).

Gunning for a top 40 windup, the Filipino women take on the 14th-ranked French, who yielded to the reigning titlist Russians, 1.5-2.5.

After sweeping her first four matches, Janelle Mae Frayna conceded a draw with WIM Cecile Van Der Merwe on board 2 while Jan Jodilyn Fronda, winner of her first two matches, followed suit on board 4. Both have winning lines but missed them due to time pressure.

Pereña, a former University of the Philippines mainstay, trounced WGM Melissa Greeff in 46 moves of a Petroff; while Docena, a BS Education senior at Far Eastern University, wove an inevitable mate against WIM Denise Frick in a Nimzovich Defense.

The 11-round Olympiad took a break Sunday, with participants and guests given options to join tours.

Torre and his wife Marilin accompanied the girls team to tourist spots. So, Barbosa, Paragua and Dimakiling opted to stay behind at Radission Blu hotel and study the Bulgarians’ games.

Featured fifth round matches in the Open division saw Armenia nip Ukraine, 2.5-1.5, Russia thwart Hungary, 2.5-1.5; Azerbaijan rout Canada, 3.5-0.5; and China dump Iran, 3.5-0.5. The Germany-Montenegro, US-Czech Republic and India-England matches ended in 2-2 ties.

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Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, also the National Chess Federation of the Philipppines secretary general, will be arriving Monday to attend the 83rd Fide Congress here and provide moral support to the team coached and headed by NCFP executive director GM Jayson Gonzales.

TAGS: 40th Chess Olympiad, Chess

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