MANILA, Philippines – It was Rogelio Barcenilla’s turn to play savior as the Philippines forged a 2-2 draw with higher-ranked Israel in the sixth round of the 44th Chess Olympiad open division Wednesday, August 3, in Chennai, India.
The Arizona-based Grandmaster beat GM Tamir Nabaty on board 2 to compensate for the loss of International Master Paulo Bersamina to GM Evgeny Postny on board 4 and enable the Filipinos to remain in the upper quarter of the standings.
New York City-based GM Mark Paragua, the lone victor in the Philippines’ 2.5-1.5 stunner over Sweden in Round 5, drew with GM Avital Boruchovsky on board 1, and so did GM Darwin Laylo with Ilia Smirin on board 3.
Coupled with their four wins and a loss to the Azerbaijanis earlier, the 52nd-seeded Filipinos raised their total to 9 points, good for a share of 14th to 28th places along with the 22nd-seeded Israelis.
Armenia nipped erstwhile pacesetter India 2, 2.5-1.5, to become the solo leader in the 187-team field with a perfect 12 points.
Top seed United States bested Iran, 2.5-1.5, through a win by GM Fabiano Caruana over Parham Maghsoodlo on board 1.
Levon Aronian, Filipino-born Wesley So and Leinier Dominguez settled for draws against M. Amin Tabatabaei, Pouya Idani and IM Bardiya Daneshvar in that order.
The Philippines could only draw with lower-rated Ecuador, 2-2, in the women’s division.
WIM Kylen Joy Mordido prevailed over Analia Karen Miranda to negate the board 2 defeat of WFM Shania Mae Mendoza to WIM Anahi Ortiz.
WIM Jan Jodily Fronda, subbing for WGM Janelle Mae Frayna on board 1, split the point with WGM Carla Heredia and so did WIM Marie Antoinette San Diego against Josselyne Penafiel on board 3.
India kept top spot with 12 points, followed by Azerbaijan and Romania with 11 each. The Philippines toted 7 points and shared 48th to 61st places among 161 teams.
The Olympiad takes a break on Thursday and will resume with the seventh round on Friday.
The Philippines is pitted against fifth-seed Poland in the Open division and 60th-seed Bolivia in the women’s division. – Rappler.com
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