Philippines chess stars bow to Chinese-A A +A
Saturday, September 8, 2012
THE Philippine team's bid for a strong finish in the 40th World Chess Olympiad suffered a major blow when it got ambushed by powerhouse China, .5-3.5, in the ninth round Thursday night in Istanbul, Turkey.
Grandmaster Wesley So (2652) drew his match with GM Hao Wang (2726) on the top board, but the rest of the Filipino chess stars absorbed stinging defeats at the hands of their Chinese counterparts.
This was the second loss of the 35th seed Philippines and their worst thus far in the tournament. The Filipinos earlier went down to Armenia.
The defeat dropped the Philippines in a tie for 8th place with 13 match points, two points off leaders China, Russia, Armenia and the United States, who all had 15 points.
Ukraine, Argentina and the Netherlands share second place with 14 points apiece.
Also with 13 points are the Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Germany, Denmark, Belarus, Poland and Vietnam, the Philippines opponent in the 10th round.
GM Eugene Torre (2469), the hero of the Filipinos who scored big wins in the previous two rounds, finally tasted defeat as he went down to Xiangzhi Bu (2670) on board 3.
GMs Oliver Barbosa (2554) and Mark Paragua (2508) also lost their matches to Liren Ding (2695) and Chao Li (2665) on boards 2 and 4, respectively.
The PH women's team, seeded only 57th, also suffered another defeat, this time at the hands of the 10th seed Romania, 1.5-2.5.
The squad pulled off a huge win on board 4 courtesy of Jan Jodilyn Fronda, but WIM Catherine Perena and Jedara Docena yielded to their rivals on boards 1 and 3, respectively.
Board 2 player Janelle Mae Frayna drew her match with WGM Elena Luminta Cosma.
The ladies squad, which has 10 points, will play 83rd Malaysia next. (CRAM)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 09, 2012.