Team Philippines rebounds strongly in Chess Olympiad

Roy Luarca
Team Philippines rebounds strongly in Chess Olympiad
The Philippines team blanked Guatemala in the open division, and stunned higher-ranked Vietnam in the women's division

MANILA, Philippines – Team Philippines rebounded strongly in the 10th round of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India, on Monday, August 8.

The Philippines team blanked Guatemala, 4-0, in the open division, and stunned higher-ranked Vietnam, 3-1, in the women’s division.

New York City-based Grandmaster Mark Paragua beat International Master Carlos Juarez, Arizona-based GM Rogelio Barcenilla bested IM Wilson Estuardo Lorenzana, John Paul Gomez thwarted Fide Master Eduardo Galvez, and GM Darwin Laylo subdued David Emanuel Giron for the shutout that raised the Filipinos’ total to 12 points and their standing to joint 41st to 59th among 187 teams.

Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna tamed fellow WGM Thi Kim Thung Vo on board 1, WIM Marie Antoinette San Diego defeated WIM Ngoc Thuy Duong Bach on board 3, and WIM Kylen Joy Mordido repulsed WFM Thien Ngan Nguyen to compensate for WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda’s loss to WIM Thi Bao Tram Hung on board 2.

The Philippines climbed to 13 points and shared 22nd to 33rd places among the 161 teams in the women’s division.

Team Philippines will be pitted against stronger rivals in the 11th and final round on Tuesday, August 9, however, with the Filipinos battling the third-ranked Norwegians, featuring world champion Magnus Carlsen.

As if to give the 52nd-ranked Filipinos a fighting chance, Carlsen opted to sit it out, leaving GM Aryan Tari to man the top board against Paragua. Gomez faces Jon Ludvig Hammer on board 2, Laylo tests Johan Sebastian Christiansen on board 3, and International Master Paulo Bersamina tackles GM Frode Olvav Oben Urkedal on board 4.

The Filipinas, rated 39th, are ranged against the 14th-ranked Cubans.

Frayna tackles IM Lisandra Ordaz, Fronda clashes with WIM Yerisba Miranda, San Diego collides with WGM Robaina Arribas and Mordido takes on WIM Yaniela Forgas.

Uzbekistan and Armenia pace the open division with 17 points each, followed by India, India 2, and the United States which boasts of Cavite-born Wesley So.

India leads the women’s division with 17 points, followed by Poland, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Georgia with 16 each. –

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