Torre, Barbosa shine in PHL victory

GRANDMASTERS Eugene Torre and Oliver Barbosa continued to produce decisive results for the Philippines in the 40th World Chess Olympiad.

Torre took the scalp of GM Nigel Short to set the tone for the country’s 3-1 upset of 11th seed England in the 8th round Wednesday night at the WOW Convention Center in Istanbul, Turkey.

His heroics in the previous round also allowed the 35th seed Philippines to salvage a 2-2 draw opposite fourth seed Hungary.

The 61-year-old grandfather, appearing in a record 21st Olympiad, deftly handled the black pieces in their Nimzo-Indian encounter and forced Short to resign after trapping the latter’s bishop on the 41st move.

Short, ranked 49th in the world among active players with Elo 2698, is the same player who challenged Garry Kasparov for the World Chess Championship in 1993.

Barbosa, the hero in the sixth round, rebounded from a loss in the seventh round with a marathon 102-move victory over GM Gawain Jones.

Grandmasters Wesley So and Mark Paragua also did their share by holding their opponents to a standoff.

So, the country’s top player, held his ground against GM Michael Adams and forced a draw after 51 moves of Caro-Kann while Paragua split the point with GM Nicholas Pert after 37 moves of Queen’s Pawn Game.

With its 13th match point, the Philippines shared a piece of second place with USA, China, Germany and forth round tormentor Armenia. The Russian Federation remained on top with 15 match points following a narrow 2.5-1.5 win against Ukraine. Noli Cruz

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