Barbosa stars in PHL victory

GRANDMASTER Oliver Barbosa turned a losing position into a smashing victory Monday night to propel the Philippines into one of the biggest upsets in the 40th World Chess Olympiad at the WOW Convention Center in Istanbul, Turkey.

Handling the black pieces on board 2 against GM Kiril Georgiev, Barbosa produced the decisive result for a 2.5-1.5 win over powerhouse Bulgaria.

It was the country’s fifth victory in six rounds, good for 10 match points and a share of fourth spot behind leaders Russian Federation, Azerbaijan and fourth round tormentor Armenia.

The three frontrunners have 11 match points. A team win is equal to two points while a draw is equal to one point.

Barbosa was scrambling with his two rooks and knight against Georgiev’s queen and bishop when the latter made a blunder on his 57th move in their Slav encounter.

A couple of moves later, Georgiev resigned with Barbosa set to take his queen after a discover check.

The victory wouldn’t have been possible without the valiant stand of GMs Wesley So, Eugene Torre and Mark Paragua, who drew their respective matches against higher rated players.

So split the point with GM Veselin Topalov on board 1 after 48 moves of Nimzo-Indian Defense; Torre agreed to a draw opposite GM Ivan Cheparinov on board 3 after 47 moves of Pirc Defense; and Paragua halved the point with GM Alexander Delchev on board 4 after 32 moves of Sicilian Defense. Noli Cruz


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