Sweep by Pinoy chessers

August 14, 2020

Standings after first round:

2 points -- Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Germany, Bulgaria.

0 --  Balarus, Bangladesh,  Turkmenistan, Belgium, Kyrgyzstan.

THE Philippines opened its campaign in Division 2 of the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad 2020 in style, sweeping Kyrgyzstan, 6-0, in the first round.

New York City-based GM Mark Paragua outduelled IM Asyl Andyjapar, newly-crowned Asian Seniors champion GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr. whipped Andrei Maznitsin, Catherine

Secopito humbled Diana Omurbekova, Bernadette Galas outclassed Aizhan Alymbai, Michael Concio crushed Aziz Degenbaex and Jerlyn Mae San Diego overwhelmed Shakhnazi Musaeva in the Filipinos' big day of triumph in the first round Friday.

“It's a great start for our team. Sana magtuloy-tuloy lang.” said Asia's first GM Eugene Torre.

Torre, who serves as head coach of the 12-player team, decided to shuffle his line-up and fielded Paragua and his five reserves in anticipation of bigger battles ahead.

Antonio took the place of GM Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr. on board two.

Secopito and Galas replaced WGM Janelle Mae Frayna and WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda on boards three and four.

Concio and San Diego also substituted for IM Daniel Quizon and WIM Kylen Joy Mordido.

The strategy of Torre and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) executive director Atty. Cliburn Orbe paid off .

Australia, bannered by GM Anton Smirnov and WGM Jilin Zhang, blamked Belgium, 6-0, to match the Philippines' opening-day score.

Smirnov humbled FM Lennert Lenaerts, while Zhang demolished Annelies Cuveluer to lead the Australians.

Top favorite Germany defeated Bangladesh, 4.5-1.5, Indonesia outplayed Turkmenistan, 4.5-1.5, and Bulgaria edged Belarus, 3.5-2.5, in other opening-day matches.

Based on tournament format,  a win is worth two points, a draw one point and a loss zero.

Game points will  count only during the second tiebreak.

The top three teams in Group A after nine rounds will  advance to the Top Division, along with the other top finishers in the four other Division 2 groups.

The 15 teams from Division 2  will join  25 other seeded registered teams  in the Top Division scheduled aug. 19-23.

The top five seeded teams in the Top Division are  Russia, China, United States, Ukraine and Armenia.