PH women's team stuns Spain, climbs in Batumi Chess Olympiad
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines women's team began its ascent to chess' Mount Olympus by climbing to 19th place with a 3-1 win over Spain at the Batumi Chess Olympiad Sunday night, September 30.
But whether the Filipinas will stay at a dizzying 19th place when they face Georgia 2 in the seventh round on Monday, October 1, remains to be a question. The Georgians, then world champions, were trounced by the Philippines two years ago in Baku.
"Let us see what will be the final result. But we are hopeful to finish decently after all the members of the team are doing their hard work and preparations," said coach Jayson Gonzales through a Viber message.
The Filipinas, who started the tournament ranked 27th, has now won 4 matches, drew one and lost one for 9 points. Spain, meanwhile, has dropped to 41st place after having an initial ranking of seventh.
In men's play, the Philippines whipped Jersey, 4-0, as it climbed to 77th place from 101st before the sixth round began on Sunday. The Eugene Torre-coached Filipinos meet Albania in the seventh round. The sweep gave the Filipinos 6 points after winning 3 matches and losing 3.
Bernadette Galas and Shania Mae Mendoza won their games while woman grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna repulsed a dangerous attack to earn a draw. Marie Antoinette San Diego, under pressure for so long, capitalized on her foe's mistake to gain the advantage only to lose it and settle for draw.
Galas, who has been fielded only if she plays White, defeated veteran woman grandmaster Monica Calzetta Ruiz in 56 moves of a Trompovsky Opening. San Diego, used only if she plays Black, drew with Ana Matnadze in 73 moves of a Double Fianchetto Opening.
"It was a great endgame performance. Bernadette chose the simplest and safest moves to win. San Diego showed her resourcefulness which is her asset," said Randy Segarra, who handles these two players at the De La Salle University.
National champion Shania Mae Mendoza outplayed Monica Garcia Martin in 85 moves of a Slav Defense where the FEU freshman temporarily sacrificed a knight on the 42nd moves and then regained it with a two-pawn edge which she nursed to victory.
Frayna drew with Sabrina Vega Martinez in 43 moves of an irregular opening that later became a King's Indian Defense.
In the men's results, Julio Catalino Sadorra won over Krzysztof Belzo in 43 moves of an English Opening, John Paul Gomez downed Paul Wojiciechkowski in 38 moves of a King's Indian Defense, Jan Emmanuel Garcia defeated John Ponomarenko in 40 moves of a King's Indian and national champion Haridas Pascua trounced David Wilson of in 39 moves of a King's Indian Attack. – Rappler.com