Pinoys draw Romania for 21st place in Chess Olympiad-A A +A
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
MANILA—Grandmasters Eugene Torre and Mark Paragua lost to their rivals in a pair of slam-bang final round matches as the 35th-seed Philippines sufferred a heart-breaking 3-1 defeat to 25th-seed Romania in the 11th and last round, finishing 21st place at the 40th Fide World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey on Sunday.
The 60-year-old Torre (2469), appearing in a record 21st Olympiad, bowed to GM Levente Vajda (2612) in Board 3 after 36 moves of Scotch Potter Variation duel.
The former 1998 World Under-14 rapid champion Paragua (2508), on the other hand, yielded to GM Vladislav Nevednichy (2554) in Board 4 after 40 moves of Pseudo-King’s Indian skirmish.
The undefeated Pinoy GM Wesley So (2652) split the point with GM Constantin Lupulescu (2614) in Board 1 after 47 moves of Slav defense, while GM Oliver Barbosa (2554) halved the point with GM Mircea-Emilian Parligras (2618) in Board 2 after 39 moves of Queen’s Indian Defense.
With the loss, the gritty Filipino was stuck at 14 points, good for a share of 19th to 33th places.
Despite the Philippines’ failure to surpass its best finish of seventh place in the 1988 edition of the biennial event in Thessaloniki, Greece, the team improved on its worst 50th place effort two years ago in Russia.
“We lost to Romania but I’m still proud of the boys. We fought the best team that later became champion (Armenia),” said National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) Chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr., who followed the tournament through the Internet.
“A tie for 19th place and 21st overall is not bad, after all. This was my prediction before the start of the Istanbul Chess Olympiad,” he added. “We have a young team and we will be better in the next Olympiads.”
The Filipinos opened their campaign with a big bang, blasting Libya (4-0), Moldova (2.5-1.5) and Kazakhstan ( 4-0) in the first three rounds. (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 11, 2012.