Team PH begins campaign at 44th World Chess Olympiad

Published July 29, 2022, 5:59 PM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

The Philippines sets its sights for a better, more memorable performance as it clashes with Oman in the men’s section and Guam in the women’s in the opening round of the 44th World Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India.

Grandmasters Mark Paragua, John Paul Gomez, Banjo Barcenilla, Darwin Laylo, and International Master Paulo Bersamina pose for a photo before plunging into action at the 44th World Chess Olympiad. (Photo courtesy of Lilibeth Lee-Barcenilla)

The country, ranked 52nd, will play Grandmasters Mark Paragua, John Paul Gomez and Darwin Laylo and International Master Paulo Bersamina against 146th seed Oman as GM Banjo Barcenilla, who was designated as Board Two player, gets the early rest.

WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, WFM Shania Mae Mendoza, WIM Marie Antoinette San Diego and WGM-candidate Kylen Joy Mordido will see action in the women’s as a 39th seed versus 119th pick Guam.

WGH Janelle Mae Frayna gets the breather.

The first round of this 11-round, 12-day tournament that drew 184 men’s teams from 182 countries and 158 women’s squads from 156 nations was being played Friday night (Philippine time).

GMs Eugene Torre and Jayson Gonzales are coaches and non-playing captains of the squad.

The Filipinos are aiming to eclipse their 37th-place effort in the men’s and 67th-place performance in the women’s in the last face-to-face edition of this biennial meet in Batumi, Georgia four years ago.

Interestingly, they could face along the way Cavite-born American Wesley So, who will spearhead the top-seeded United States team.