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Pinoy pride in FIDE Olympiad


THE Philippines pulled off an inspiring 4-0 victory over the United States in the second round to vault into contention in the first FIDE Online Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities.

Reigning IPCA world champion FM Sander Severino, AGM Henry Lopez, Darry Bernardo and Cheyzer Crystal Mendoza struck hard on the Filipinos’ day of triumph in this unique 60-team tournament organized by FIDE as part of the United Nations “International Day of Persons with Disabilities” celebrations on Dec. 3.

Severino, who made history by winning the first IPCA Online World Championship last June, outclassed Michael Aigner on board one to redeem himself from an opening-day setback to FM Terry Song of Canada last Saturday.

Lopez, the pride of Panabo City, demolished Griffin Mcconnell on board two, while Bernardo crushed Pranav Shankar on board three for their second straight victories.

Mendoza whipped Jessica Lauser in an all-female encounter on board four to complete the rout.

With the win, the third-seeded Filpinos moved into a tie for 15th to 16th places with Russia-2 with three points on one win and one draw.

It was a different story for Team Philippines-2.

A day after a 4-0 win over Mongolia in the first round, the Philippine team of Menandro Redor, Arman Subaste, Felix Aguilera and Cheryl Angot lost 0-4 to Russia-1 in the second round.

Redor yielded to FM Stanislav Babarykin, Subaste succumbed to IM Andrei Obodchuk, Aguilera fell to FM Evgeniy Suslov and Angot lost to WIM Marina Kaydanovich.

The loss dropped the Roel Abelgas-mentored Philippines-2 to a share of 17th to 42nd places with two points on one win and one loss.

Third-round action will pit Philippines-1 against Russia-2 and Philippines-2 against India-3.

Fourteen teams, led by top seed Poland-1 and second seed Germany, share the lead with perfect scores of four points on two victories.

Poland-1, led by GM Marcin Tazbir, and Ukraine-2, bannered by Taras Ovcharov, clash in featured third-round encounter.

The Philippine teams’ campaign is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP).

The event will consist of two stages.

The first one is a seven-round Swiss System event on Nov. 21-28, from which the best four teams will qualify to play a double-round semifinal on Nov. 29-30.

The two best teams will then advance to the finals, while the two others will compete for third prize.