PH settles for 5th in FIDE Online Chess Olympiad

Published August 17, 2020, 2:46 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

mark paragua
Mark Paragua

The Philippines salvaged some measure of pride as it downed Turkmenistan 4.5-1.5 to finish fifth out of 10 teams in Pool A of Division II of the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad on Sunday.

Grandmaster Mark Paragua spearheaded the ninth and final round triumph with a win over International Master Yusup Atabayev on top board as the Filipinos wound up with 10 match points.

Bulgaria ruled the bracket with a perfect 18 points while top seed Germany and Indonesia were second and third with 15 and 12, respectively, to claim the three berths to Division I.

Woman GM Janelle Mae Frayna, IM Daniel Quizon and Jerlyn Mae San Diego delivered the other wins against Woman FIDE Master Jemal Overdurdiyeva, FM Azat Nurmamedov and Ogulsuray Bayrambayeva, while WIM Bernadette Galas split the point with WGM Bahar Hallaeva.

GM Joey Antonio was the lone casualty as he fell to lower-rated IM Saparmyrat Atabayev.

It was a heartbreaking performance for the Nationals as they were undone by their painful 2.5-3.5 defeat to lower-ranked Belgium in the fifth round Saturday when it blew a 2.5-0.5 lead where it rested their top players Paragua, Frayna and Quizon.

If they had won that match, the Filipinos would have ended up tied for third with the Indonesians, whom the former beat, 3.5-2,5, in the second round Friday and ended up claiming the third and last spot to the top division.

The New York-based Paragua emerged the highest scorer for the country with 5.5 points in seven games, including masterful triumphs over super GMs Aleksander Delchev of Bulgaria and Vladislav Kovalev of Belarus.

Also coming through were Quizon with 4.5 points out of six, Galas with four out of seven and Jerlyn Mae San Diego, who won all her four games as a junior girl reserve.

Meanwhile, FM Sander Severino’s International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA) squad likewise missed the Division I bus after finishing ninth or second to the last in Pool B.