Barcenilla, Salvador join RP’s elite list of GM


KHANTY-Mansiysk, Russia –  Even before the 11th and final round  of  the 39th World Chess Olympiad, the Philippines received  the good news  of having  two  new grandmasters in its fold – Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr. and Roland Salvador..

Barcenilla, now based in Arizona, Texas with his family,  and Salvador, now living in Italy,  were officially conferred the elusive GM titles during the  81st FIDE Congress held at the Complex Arena Ugra here.

The two players received their  long-overdue GM titles upon representation of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) , headed by president Prospero “Butch” Pichay and  secretary-general Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino  and FIDE representative Toti Abundo..

“We’re happy to have our two new GMs.They really deserved the title,” said PIchay on the eve of the Philippines’ 11th and final-round match against  No. 48 seed Estonia on Sunday

The Philippines-Estonia match will  decide the final rankings of the two countries.
GM Wesley So will play top board for the  37th-seeded Fili[inos for the 10th time in 11 rounds  against GM  Kaido Kulaots (ELO 2592).

GM John Paul Gomez faces GM Meelis Kanep (ELO 2532), GM Darwin Laylo battles IM Olav Sepp (ELO 2485) and IM Richard Bitoon meets IM Aleksandr Volodin (ELO 2433) in the other crucial three matches.

GM Eugene Torre, who played in record 20th Olympiad  in  40 years from 1970 to 2010, took a rest. The 58-year-old Filipino hero finished with 4.5 points on three wins, three draws and one loss.

Overall, the Filipinos are now tied for tie for 31st  to  44th  places with 12  points on five wins, two draws and three losses. After  the  Sonneborn-Berger tiebreak, the  Filipinos  are in  31st place, or six  notches  higher  than their  starting  rank of  37th  place.

A victory by the Filipinos, however, will enable them to barge into the Top 30 and improve their 46th-place finish in the Dresden Olympiad two years ago.

Actually, the Filipinos finished in a tie for 29th to 48th places  with 13 points on six wins, one draw and four losses during the Dresden Olympiad. The Filipinos, however, dropped to  46th  place overall based on the  Sonneborn-berger tiebreak system.

In the women’s division, the Philippines faces No. 61 seed Brazil with Cheradee Chardine Camacho playing top board against WFM Juliana Terao.

Shecila Cua meets WFM Amanda Pereira, Rulp Ylem Jose tackles Vanessa Gasola and Jedara Docnea plays Ana Paula Oliveira.

The  Filipinas are currently in a tie for  50th  to  65th places with 10  points  on  four  wins,  two draws and  four losses  based  on the  matchpoint-style  scoring system  that gives a two  points for a win, one  point for  a  draw and zero for  a loss.

They need to win over Brazil to duplicate, if not surpass, their  2008 Olympiad showing of tie for  36th to 49th places with 12 points (five wins, two draws and four losses).

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