The Philippines’ second team headed by Menandro Redor hammered out a 4-0 thrashing of Mongolia while PH Team 1 led by reigning world champion Sander Severino drew with Canada, 2-2, in the first round of the FIDE Online Olympiad for People with Disabilities Saturday night.
Redor, an Asian and ASEAN Para Games gold medalist, smashed Mijgee Khishigbayar on top board to steer the Filipinos to the early share of the lead with 28 others.
Also delivering the wins were Armas Subaste, Felix Aguilera and Cheryl Angot, who blasted Gombo Gonchigdorj, Boldbaatar Baasankhuu and Gan-Ochir Delgerdalai, respectively.
It was a strong start for the country’s second squad, skippered by non-playing Roel Abelgas and seeded only 23rd out of 61 participants.
In contrast, its first team, seeded third, was ambushed by 33rd pick Canada after Severino, who won the International Physically Disabled Chess Association World Championship last June, and Cheyzer Crystal Mendoza fell to fellow FIDE Master Guannan Terry Song and Louis Morin on boards one and four.
The first team, which is captained by James Infiesto, zoomed to a fast 2-0 lead following triumphs by Henry Lopez and Darry Bernardo over Gilbert Perez and Chantal Nicole on boards two and three.
Needing just a draw to seal the match win, the Filipinos couldn’t deliver as Severino was checkmated in deep time pressure while Mendoza couldn’t extricate herself out of trouble from her poor opening sequence and was also checkmated.
PH Team 2 is playing powerhouse Russia Team 1 at press time, while PH Team 1 is battling the United States.