TEAM Philippines gained headway in both the Open and Women’s division late Wednesday, moving closer toward top 20 finishes in the 43rd Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia.
The men’s team, with International Master Jan Emmanuel Garcia pulling off a victory on board 3, bested Zambia, 2.5-1.5, to share 20th place after nine rounds of play.
The Filipinas, on the other hand, trounced the South Koreans, 3-1, through wins by Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna, Woman Fide Master Shania Mae Mendoza and Woman International Master Bernadette Galas.
Garcia, coach of Ateneo de Manila University,tamed Kela Kaulule Siame in 60 moves of English Opening for the marginal point as United States-based GM Julio Catalino Sadorra, GM John Paul Gomez and International Master Haridas Pascuasettled for draws.
The United States-based Sadorra, the Philippines’ highest scorer thus far with 7.0 points, drew with IM Andrew Kayonde after 31 moves of a Catalan Opening on board 1; Gomez drew with FM Douglas Munenga in 30 moves of Ruy Lopez Opening on board two; and Pascua drew with Prince Daniel Mulenga after 45 moves of King's Indian Defense on board four.
Their fourth straight win and sixth overall pushed the Filipinos 12 in the company ofGeor gia 1, Norway, Argentina, Sweden, Slovenia, Georgia 2, Moldova, Egypt, Italy, Slovakia, Austria, Lithuania and Ecuador.
The Philippines faces 78th-seed Ecuador, 3.5-0.5 conqueror of Sri-Lanka, 3.5-0.5 conqueror of Sri Lanka in the pivotal 10th round.
Men’s team coach GM Eugene Torre will be fielding Sadorra, Gomez, Garcia and Pascua against GM Franco Matamoros, IM Christian Barros, FM Kevin Noboa and IM Miguel Sanchez Munoz, respectively.
Frayna beat WFM Chengjia Wang in 51 moves of Modern Defense on board one, Mendoza tamed WFM Roza Eynula in42 moves of French Defense on board two and Galas whipped Yubin Kim in 47 moves of Vienna Opening on board four.
Woman Candidate Master Sunwoo Park averted a shutout by besting WIM Marie Antoinette San Diego in 46 moves of Sicillian Defense on board three.
The Filipinas, mentored by GM Jayson Gonzales, rebounded from back-to-back losses and climbed to a share of 33th to 45th places. Tied with them at 11 points were 12 others, including tenth round opponent Moldova, which nipped Finland, 2.5-1.5.
Gonzales will be fielding Frayna against WIM Diana Baciu, Secopito against WFM Olga Hincu, Mendoza against IM Svetlana Petrenko, and Galas against WFM Paula Alexandra Gitu.
Third-seed China downed 8th-seed Kazakhstan, 3-1, to pace the distaff side with 16 points, towing 15-pointers Ukraine, Armenia and the USA.
Poland leads the Open division with 16 points, followed by the USA, which got sidetracked by Poland, China, Armenia ad England with 15 points.
GM Kacper Piorun (2612) shocked GM Hikaru Nakamura after 60 moves of Scandinavian Defense on board two.
GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda, GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek, and GM Jacek Tomczak posted draws on board one, two and four against GM Fabiano Caruana, GM Wesley So and GM Samuel Shankland.
The United States fell to 2nd place with 15 points in a tie with China, Armenia and England. China bested Azerbaijan, 2.5-1.5, Armenia trounced India, 2.5-1.5, and England subdued Norway, 3-1.