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Bernardo-led Pinoy chessers zero in on semis berth

Online Olympiad

Standings after six rounds:
11 points –Russia-1
10 — Poland-2, Germany, Philippines-1, Ukraine-3
9 — Poland-1, Russia-2, India-1
8 — Israel, Poland-3, Kyrgyzstan, Hungary, Philippines-2, Ukraine-1, Croatia

THE Philippines-1 escaped with a 3-1 win over Ukraine-1 in an all-important sixth round encounter to zero in on one of four semis berths in the first FIDE Online Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities.

A day after toppling top seed Poland, 3-1, in the fifth round Wednesday, the FM Sander Severino-led Filipinos got a lucky break — and a much-needed victory – in their penultimate round encounter against the Ukrainians.

Former Far Eastern University standout Darry Bernardo and Cheyzer Crystal Mendoza posted a pair of important victories
on boards two and four to clinch the fourth win in six matches for the James Infiesto-mentored Filipinos.

Bernardo defeated Vladyslav Kolpakov for his sixth win in as many matches to emerge as the countr’s leading scorer, while Mendoza won over Irina Zarubinskaya,

Severino and Jasper Rom drew their matches against IM Oleg Tuka and FM Sergey Grigorchuk on boards one and three, respectively.

The Filipinos now have 10 points in a tie for second to fifth places with Poland-2, Germany and Ukraine-3.

Russia-1 leads the way with 11 points.

The Russians are the Filipinos’ seventh and final round opponents.

Only the top four teams will advance to the semifinals — a double-round affair to determine the two finalists in this unique competition organized by FIDE as part of the United Nations “International Day of Persons with Disabilities” celebrations on Dec. 3.

Veteran chess journalist Ignacio Dee said the Filipinos got a lucky break with Bernardo’s victory over Kolpakov.

With one round left, the Philippines is still in contention for one of the four semifinal slots in the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities thanks to a lucky break by Darry Bernardo,” said Dee in his commrntary.

Bernardo was lost, but the arbiter gave the win to the Philippines after Vladislav Kolpakov was disconnected,” he added.

We can criticize Bernardo’s treatment of the Nimzovitch Defense which his FEU coach Jayson Gonzales is an advocate but he won by technicality to bring his streak to 6/6. Should discussion end? No because 6…e5 would give Black a freer game but the Nimzovitch often entices overeager players to extend themselves. Then punishment is swift.

He also said “Jasper Rom drew a game where he is better. He was poised to play Ng3 and then Qd6 preventing black from castling. It is the second time Rom drew in a good position and Caissa never likes these things.

Team Philippines-2 settled for a 2-2 draw with drew with Ukraine-2, on victories by Arman Subaste and Cheryl Angot on boards one and four.

Max Dave Tellor and Israel Peligro succumbed to Vladyslav Pokotaeiv and Oleksii Filippskikh on second to third boards.

The country’s second team under coach Roel Abelgas is tied for ninth to 15th places with eighth points on three wins, two draws and one loss.

Although already out of the running for the semis berth,the 23rd-seeded Filipinos will try to improve their rankings when they play Croatia in the final round.

The Filipinos’ campaign in the tournament is sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), headed by Chairman Butch Ramirez, and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), led by President Butch Pichay.

The moves:

Round 6
V. Kolpakov (Ukraine) vs. D. Bernardo (PH)
1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 f5 3. exf5 d5 4. d4 Bxf5 5. Bd3 Bg4 6. c3 Nf6 7. O-O g6 8. Nbd2 Bg7 9. h3 Bc8 10. Qe2 O-O 11. Ng5 Qd6 12. Re1 Nh5 13. Ndf3 h6 14. Ne6 Bxe6 15. Qxe6+ Qxe6 16. Rxe6 g5 17. h4 Rf6 18. Rxf6 exf6 19. Bg6 Nf4 20. Bxf4 gxf4 21. Re1 Kf8 22. Kh2 Ne7 23. h5 a5 24. Nh4 f5 25. Bxf5 Bf6 26. Ng6+ Nxg6 27. Bxg6 a4 28. a3 Ra6 29. Kh3 Be7 30. Kg4 Rb6 31. Re2 Bg5 32. g3 fxg3 33. f4 Be7 34. Kxg3 c5 35. dxc5 Bxc5 36. Rd2 Be3 37. Rxd5 Rxb2 38. Rd8+ Kg7 39. Rd7+ Kf6 40. Rf7+ Ke6 41. f5+ Kd6 42. Rf8 Rf2 43. f6 Rf1 44. f7 Kc7 45. Ra8 Bc5 46. Rxa4 b5 47. Ra5 Kb6 48. Ra8 Kb7 49. Be4+ Kc7 50. Bf3 Rg1+ 51. Kh2 Rc1 52. f8=Q Bxf8 53. Rxf8 Rxc3 54. Be4 Rxa3 55. Rf6 Ra4 56. Bg6 Rd4 57. Rf5 b4 58. Rb5 Kc6 59. Rb8 Kc5 60. Rh8 b3 61. Rb8 Rb4 62. Rxb4 Kxb4 63. Kg3 Kb5 64. Kf4 Kc6 65. Ke5 Kd7 66. Kf6 b2 67. Kf7 Kd6 68. Kg7 Ke7 69. Kxh6 Kf6 70. Bb1 Kf7 71. Kh7 Kf6 72. h6 Kf7 73. Ba2+ Kf8 74. Kh8 Ke7 75. Kg7 Kd6 76. h7 Kc5 0-1