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Pinoy chessers confident

Paulo Bersamina
Bersamina: Gold medal winner.

THE Philippines hopes to resume its winning ways when it battles Kazakhstan in the men’s division and Sri Lanka in the women’s category in the Asian Online Nations Cup 2020 chess championships.

The Filipinos earned the right to play in the exciting quarterfinal knockout matches in both the men’s and women’s divisions after finishing second in the nine-round qualifying phase last Monday.

The GM Eugene Torre-coached Filipino team also received a tremendous boost after three of its players captured individual medals in their respective boards.

IM Paulo Bersamina captured the gold medal on board three with seven points on six wins, two draws and only one loss.

Bersamina was clearly the Filipinos’ top performer so far in the event hosted by the Asian Chess Federation.

The 22-year-old Filipino champion won over GMs Maghami Ehsan Ghaem Maghami of Iran and Murtas Kazhgaleyev of Kazakhstan and drew GMs Tsegmed Batchuluun of Mongolia and S.P. Sethuraman of India.

Two-time “Battle of GMs” champion GM Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr. took the silver medal on board two behind GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia.

The United States-based Barcenilla finished with six points on five wins, two draws and one loss.

National women’s champion WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda was the lone medal winner for the Filipinas.

Fronda bagged the bronze medal on board two with 5.5/8 on five wins,one draw and two losses.

Last Sunday, the Filipinos swept their last three assignments against FIDE Online Olympiad co-champion India (2.5-1.5) in the seventh round, Kazakhstan (2.5-1.5) in the eighth round Kyrgyzstan (3-1) in the ninth and final round to finish runner-up behind Iran.

As the No.2 seed, the Philippines earned the right to play No. 7 Kazakastan in a virtual rematch of their eighth round encounter.

In the women’s division, the No. 2 seed Philippines will battle No. 7 Sri Lanka.

There will be two matches per duel, with colors reversed for the rematch.

Quarterfinal pairings:
Men– Iran vs. Singapore, Kazakhstan vs Philippines, Mongolia vs. India, Indonesia vs. Australia.
Women — India vs. Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka vs. Philippines, Iran vs. Indonesia, Mongolia vs. Vietnam.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Ed Andaya
Sports Editor - People's Tonight