Asian Games

PH boosts Asian Para Games bid after 3-gold chess haul

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PH boosts Asian Para Games bid after 3-gold chess haul

CONCENTRATED. Menandro Redor assesses his next move during the Asian Para Games chess competition.

PSC Media Pool

Menandro Redor fuels the chess team’s golden rush as the Philippines climbs to the 12th spot in the Asian Para Games

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine para chess team finished with a flourish as Menandro Redor anchored the country’s haul of three gold, two silver, and two bronze medals in the standard chess event of the 4th Asian Para Games on Thursday, October 26, in Hangzhou, China. 

Redor held Turkmen top seed Atabayev Aygdogdy to a draw in the seventh and final round, leading the men’s squad to a sweep of the B2-B3 standard event to emerge as the country’s first double gold medalist in the continental tournament. 

Visually impaired, Redor actually wound up tied for first with identical 5.5 points with Iranian Amir Rabbi Khorasgani, but took the gold through the tiebreaker for having played stronger players through the seven-round series. 

Armand Subaste was the next best Filipino chess player with 4 points  after drawing Tajikistan’s Suhrob Hamdamov as the national squad, which includes Darry Bernardo, finished with 9.5 points in clinching the team gold. 

Lawyer Cheyzer Crystal Mendoza added the third gold in chess despite losing to Mongolia’s Khisigbayar Migjee in the last round of the women’s individual standard PI event with a final 5.5 points, the same output as Indonesia’s Yuni, who beat compatriot Lilis Herna Yulia in the other match.

Mendoza, however, took the mint with the winner-over-the-other rule after beating the top Indon in the previous rounds. 

With the victories, the Philippines climbed to 12th overall with four gold, three silver, and four bronze medals in the 44-nation meet.

The golden feats also made up for the setbacks in the men’s PI event where the Philippines got dethroned in both the team and individual events by Indonesia following the setback of FIDE Master Sander Severino to veteran No. 1 Tirto in the final round.

Severino, who led the squad in sweeping both events in the 2018 Jakarta edition, was relegated to the individual bronze medal while Henry Roger Lopez copped the silver behind Tirto following his final-round win over Mongolian Sundui Sonom.    

“We were actually eyeing six golds entering today’s round but the strategy and the breaks didn’t go our way yesterday,” said national para chess coach James Infiesto. “Luckily, we won half our goals today.”

“Actually we are still on target. We can win more,” added Infiesto as the rapid event also got going. 

Redor, a winner of one gold, two silvers, and one bronze in Jakarta five years ago, said he also hopes to add more to the country’s output in the rapid event. 

Mendoza, meanwhile, said she felt “bittersweet” about her gold in her Asian Para Games debut, especially after she felt she had a winnable match against the Mongolian despite playing black pieces. 

“I was ahead but made a blunder in the 28th move that led to the loss. So this gold is bittersweet because I felt I let my team down,” she said. “Had I won, we could have had the team silver at the very least.”

In other sports, the Pilipinas Warriors finally scored their first win with a 54-51 decision over Kuwait to wind up in ninth place out of 10 countries in wheelchair basketball at the Hangzhou Olympic Center Gymnasium. 

National para cyclists Nikko Peralta and Arthus Bucay competed in the C4-C5 time trial, bowing out after checking in fifth (26:25.31) and 10th (28:24.04), respectively. –

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