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    Pinoy woodpushers eye fourth straight win, battle Zambia in Chess Olympiad

    Oct 4, 2018
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    THE Philippine men’s team tries to sneak into the top 30 when it tangles with Zambia in the ninth round of the 43rd Chess Olympiad at Sports Place in Batumi, Gerogia.

    The Filipinos, seeded No. 54, edged the Uruguayans, 2.5-1.5, on Tuesday for their third straight victory that pushed their total to 10 points, good for a share of 33rd place in the 185-team Open division.

    They made up for the Filipinas' 2.5-1.5 loss to the 30th-ranked Argentines in the 151-team women's division.

    Grandmaster Julio Catalino Sadorra bested GM Andres Rodriguez Vila in 42 moves of Philidors defense on board one while International Master Haridas Pascua defeated Fide Master Rafael Muniz in 29 moves of King's Indian Defense on board four.

    GM John Paul Gomez drew with FM Nicolas Lopez Azambuja in 61 moves of a Catalan Opening on board two as did IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia against IM Luis Ernesto Rodi in 60 moves of a Giuco Piano Opening on board three to seal the fifth win against three losses of the GM Eugene Torre-mentored squad.

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    While the Filipinos continued their rise, the Filipinas are on a downward spiral.

    Woman GM Janelle Mae Frayna and Woman IM Catherine Perena-Secopito bowed to IM Carolina Lujan and WIM Naria Flofrencia Fernandez, on board one and two, respectively, as the Filipinas absorbed their third straight loss.

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    WIM Marie Antoine San Diego prevailed over WIM Ayelen Martinez while WIM Bernadette Galas drew with WIM Marisa Zuriel as the Filipinas got stuck at nine points and dropped into a tie for 45th to 63th places.

    Women's team coach GM Jayson Gonzales remained optimistic the team will recover in the last three rounds.

    “In this ninth round they will rebound against the Koreans,” said Gonzales, who will be fielding Frayna, Secopito, San Diego and Galas against Spain's WFM Chengjla Wang, WFM Roza Eynula, Woman Candidate Master Sunwoo Park and Yubin Kim, respectively.

    The Filipinos, however, have better chances as they'll be facing the 95th seed Zambians in the ninth round. The Zambians blanked the Jamaicans, 4-0, in the eighth round.

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    Torre will be fielding Sadorra, Gomez, Garcia and Pascua anew against GM Andres Rodriguez Villa, FM Nicolas Lopez Arambulo, IM Luis Ernesto Rodi and FM Rafael Muniz.

    Defending champion US subdued fourth seed Azerbaijan, 2.5-1.5, despite Cavite-born Wesley So absorbing his first loss on board 2 against GM Teimour Radjabov.

    The USA totes 15 points, followed by Poland with 14 and Azerbaijan, India, France, China, Armenia, Germany and England with 13 each in the Open division.

    China and Ukraine share top spot in the distaff side with 14 points each. Trailing them are the USA, Jungary, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Kazahkstan with 13 each.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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