RP chessers whip Puerto Rican
KHANTY-Mansiysk, Russia – The Philippines whipped Puerto Rico, 3-1, despite resting top player GM Wesley So for the first time in seven rounds to set up a keenly-awaited eighth-round showdown with the GM Veselin Topalov-led Bulgaria in the 39th World Chess Olympiad here Tuesday.
GMs John Paul Gomez and Darwin Laylo struck with much-needed victories in the first two boards for the 37th-seeded Filipinos , beating CM Mark Machin and IM Alejandro Montalvo, respectively, in this prestigious, 11-round competition dubbed as the ‘Olympics’ of chess.
Gomez outwitted Machin in 68 moves of the Modern defense while Laylo subdued Montalvo by time forfeit in 29 moves of the Scandinavian defense to lead the bid of the Filipinos on a day So took a day off.
Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre halved the point with Raul Vasquez, while GM-candidate Richard Bitoon split the point with Ramon Ovalle to complete the Filipinos’ day of triumph.
The lopsided win by Filipinos of non-playing captain Atty., Edmundo Legaspi enabled them to climb into a tie for 19th to 44th places with nine points on four wins, one draw and two losses based on the match point-style scoring system which gives two points for a win, one point for a draw and zero for a loss.
In the women’s division, the Philippines dropped a close 1.5-2.5 decision to No. 35 Peru.
Rulp Ylem Jose provided the lone victory for the 52 nd-seeded Filipinas when she outplayed Lucia Orbezo on board four.
Top board player Cheradee Chardine Camacho suffered her first defeat, losing to WGM Deysi Cori, while Shercila Cua also dropped her third-board match against WFM Ingrid Aliaga, and Catheirne Perena settled for a draw with WIM Ann Chumpitaz on board two.
Overall, the Filipinas dropped to a tie for 32nd to 50th places with eight points on three wins, two draws and two losses.
Up next for the Cesar Caturla-coached Filipinas is Southeast Asian rival Vietnam, 3-1 upset winner over GM Peng Zhaoqin-led Netherlands.