THE Philippines eked out an inspiring 2.5-1.5 win over No. 48 seed Slovakia in the men’s division but lost to No. 35 Slovenia by the same score in the women’s category in the 43rd World Chess Olympiad.
United States-based GM Julio Catalino Sadorra and John Paul Gomez provided the much-needed victories for the 53rd-seeded Filipinos, beating fellow GMs Christopher Repka and Thomas Petrik on boards one and two.
Sadorra, the country’s highest-rated player with an ELO of 2553, whipped Repka in 37 moves of the Catalan while Gomez outmaneuvered Petrik in 65 moves of the Ruy Lopez.
IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia escaped with a draw with IM Viktor Gazik in 65 moves of the Dutch opening on board three while FM Mari Joseph Turqueza lost to IM Martin Nayhevaver in 41 moves of the Sicilian defense on board four in the remaining two matches.
The win served as a fitting follow-up to the Filipinos’ smashing 4-0 rout of San Marino in the first round Monday and put them in the early lead with the GM Wesley So-led United States and 39 other countries with four match points.
The first big test, however, begin with the third-round showdown against No. 18 seed Croatia, 4-0 winner over the United Arab Emirates and 3.5-.5 victor over Monaco in the first two rounds.
The Filipinas, on the other hand, are not as lucky.
The WGM Janelle Mae Frayna-led team dropped a 1.5-2.5 decision to Slovenia one day after their 4-0 demolition of Mozambique.
Frayna was the lone Filipina winner against the former Yugoslav republic, beating WIM Laura Unuk in their first board encounter.
WIM Catherine Perena-Secopito salvaged a draw against WFM Lara Janselj on board two.
WIM Shania Mae Mendoza lost to WGM Jana Krivec on board three and WIM Marie Antoinette San Diego bowed to WFM Teja Vidic on board four.
Up next for the 43rd-seeded Filipinas is No. 55 seed Venezuela.
The 10-man Filipino delegation is supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), led by president Prospero “Butch” Pichay, and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), headed by chairman William “Butch” Ramirez.
France, led by GMs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Etienne Bacrot, and Netherlands, bannered by GMs Anish Giri and Erwin L' Ami, completed 4-0 sweeps over Uruguay and Scotland, to lead only five other countries with perfect scores of eight points.
Top seed US settled for a 2.5-1.5 win over Georgia-3, Russia agreed to a 3-1 win over Ireland, Germany was held to 3.5-.5 victory over Myanmar, and China agreed to a 3.5-.5 triumph against Colombia.
Singapore, now bannered by Filipino GM Bong Villamayor and IM Enrique Paciencia, also took half point from Romania, .5-3.5.
Villamayor, who now lives in Singapore, split the point with GM Constantin Lupulescu.
There was a major upset in the women's division.
No. 31 Uzbekistan shocked top seed Russia, 2.5-1.5, with WIM Nodira Nadirjanova pulling the rug from under WGM Nataliha Pogonina on board four.
Other women's action saw India sweep Venezuela, 4-0; Ukraine edge Turkmenistan, 2.5-1.5; China outplay Colombia, 3-1; Azerbaijan blank Belgium, 4-0; Hungary nip FYROM, 2.5-1.5; Vietnam dump ICCD, 4-0; Spain overcome Bangladesh, 2.5-1.5; Netherlands overwhelm Iceland, 3-1; Romania whip Bolivia, 4-0; Cuba trounce Portugal, 4-0, and Armenia outplay Austria, 3-1.
J. Sadorra vs. C. Repka
1.d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. g3 dxc4 6. Bg2 b5 7. Ne5 Nd5 8. e4 Nxc3 9. bxc3 Bb7 10. Qh5 g6 11. Nxg6 fxg6 12. Qe5 Nd7 13. Qxh8 Qe7 14. h4 Qf7 15. h5 gxh5 16. Bg5 Qg6 17. f4 Kf7 18. Bf3 Bb4 19. cxb4 Rxh8 20. Bxh5 h6 21. O-O-O a5 22. a3 axb4 23. axb4 c3 24. Rh2 Qxh5 25. Rxh5 Ra8 26. Rxh6 c5 27. d5 exd5 28. Rh7+ Kg6 29. Rxd7 cxb4 30. Kc2 Ra2+ 31. Kd3 c2 32. Rc1 b3 33. Rxb7 dxe4+ 34. Kxe4 b2 35. Rh1 Ra4+ 36. Ke5 b1=N 37. Rh6# 1-0
T. Petrik vs. J. Gomez
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf64. d3 d6 5. O-O a6 6. Bxc6+ bxc67. d4 exd4 8. Nxd4 c5 9. Nc6 Qd710. Na5 Be7 11. Nc3 O-O 12. Bf4 Rb813. b3 Re8 14. h3 Bf8 15. Re1 Re616. e5 Ne8 17. Qf3 Rg6 18. Bg3 Qf519. Qxf5 Bxf5 20. Rac1 Re621. Nd5 dxe5 22. Rxe5 Rxe523. Bxe5 Rd8 24. c4 f6 25. Bf4 Be426. Nc3 Ba8 27. Na4 g5 28. Be3 Ng729. Bxc5 Ne6 30. Bxf8 Kxf8 31. c5 Nf432. Rc4 Bd5 33. Rb4 Nxg2 34. Rd4 Nh435. Rd1 Nf3+ 36. Kg2 Ne5+37. Kg3 Ke7 38. Nc3 Be639. Rxd8 Kxd8 40. b4 f5 41. a3 f4+42. Kh2 h6 43. Ne2 Nf3+ 44. Kg2 Ne1+45. Kh2 Nf3+ 46. Kg2 Ne1+47. Kh2 Nc2 48. Nc6+ Kd749. Ned4 Nxa3 50. Ne5+ Ke751. h4 Kf6 52. Nec6 Bd753. hxg5+ hxg5 54. Nb8 Bc855. Nbc6 Nc4 56. Na7 Bd7 57. c6 Be658. Nb3 Nd6 59. Nc5 Bc4 60. Nb7 Ne461. Kg1 g4 62. Na5 Be2 63. Nb3 g364. f3 Bxf3 65. Nd4 Ng5 0-1