Philippines Team 1 drew strength from Darry Bernardo and Cheyzer Crystal Mendoza as it shocked top seed Poland Team 1 to barge into the top three after five rounds of the 1st FIDE Online Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities Wednesday.
Bernardo, a National Master and Far Eastern University standout, went on a sacrificial kingside attack en route to stunning FIDE Master Marcin Moleda on board two while Mendoza, a former UAAP silver medalist and University of the Philippines stalwart, pulled the rug from under Anna Stolarczyk on board four to help seal the upset win.
FM Sander Severino, the world champion for the physically disabled, escaped with a draw despite an inferior position against Grandmaster Marcin Tazbir on board one while Jasper Rom settled for a draw with FM Lukasz Nowak on board three.
The feat sent the third-seeded Filipinos, skippered by non-playing James Infiesto, to a six-team tie for third with eight match points, behind only Russia Team 1 and Poland Team 2 with 10 and nine points, respectively.
PH Team 1 currently battles seventh seed Ukraine Team 1 in the sixth and penultimate round.
Meanwhile, PH Team 2 routed Colombia Team 2, 3.5-0.5, to move into a 10-team logjam at No. 15 with six points apiece and stay in contention for one of the four spots in the next round.
Arman Subaste, Max Dave Tellor and Cheryl Angot delivered the wins over John Mike Rosales, Fidel Zabala and Nicole Daniela Centenaro Erazo on boards one, two and four, while Israel Peligro split the point with Abnderson Ramirez Ramirez on board three.
It is battling Ukraine Team 2 at press time.