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Philippines beats Ukraine, tackles pacesetter Russia

Streaking Darry Bernardo was on the brink of losing when Vladislav Kolpakov got disconnected and timed out, rewarding Team Philippines 1 with a 3-1 win over Ukraine 1 in the sixth round of the 1st FIDE Olympiad for People with Disabilities Friday, November 27, Philippine time.

It was another twist of fate as Bernardo earlier suffered a mouse slip to miss a draw with Kolpakov, who had 2 separate pawns and a bishop against the Filipino's pawn and bishop.

Bernardo thus kept his record to a perfect 6 out of 6 games as the Philippines climbed to 10 points and a share of second spot with Poland 2, Germany and Ukraine 3.

The third-seeded Philippines 1 will tangle with pacesetting Russia 1, which drew with Poland 2, 2-2, for 11 points, in the seventh and last round of the elimination stage late Friday.

Cheyzer Crystal Mendoza also won over Irina Zarubinskaya on board 4 while Fide Master Sander  Severino and Jasper Rom drew with International Master Oleg Tuka and FM Sergey Grigorchuk on board 1 and 3, respectively.

Philippines 1 non-playing team captain James Infiesto said he intends to field the same players against the all-titled Russians, the sixth seed among the competing 61 teams from 45 nations.

"Our focus is on preparation," said Infiesto. "We'll try to do our best as I feel the Russians will settle for a draw as it would be enough for them to advance."

Philippines 2 settled for a 2-2 draw with higher-ranked Ukraine 2 and also climbed on the standings.

Arman Subaste and Cheryl Angot provided the victories for the Filipinos over Taras Ovcharov and Woman Candidate Master Natalya Myronenko on boards 1 and 4, respectively.

The Ukrainians equalized through Vladislva Pokotalev, who tamed Max Dave Tellor on board 2, and Oleksil Filipskikh, who subdued Israle  Peligro on board 3.

With 8 points, Philippines 2 shared the 9th to 15th places. Philippines 2 will try to surpass its 23rd seeding when it tackles No. 11 Croatia late Friday.

The top 4 teams will qualify for the double-round semifinals. – Rappler.com