Win some, lose some

October 02, 2018
Wesley So
GM Wesley So, who now plays for the United States, poses with the members of the Philippine women’s team during the 43rd World Chess Olympiad in Batumi.

WIN some, lose some for the Philippines.

The Philippines salvaged a 2.5-1.5 win over Albania in the men's division but lost to Georgia-2, 1-3, in the  women’s category in the 43rd World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia.

United States-based GM Julio Catalino Sadorra and IM Haridas Pascua delivered the all-important victories for the 54th-seeded Filipinos, who are looking to finish strong in the 11-round  tournament  being  held in the popular Georgian resort city  overlooking the Black Sea.

Sadorra subdued IM Dritan Mehmeti on  board one and Pascua outwitted IM Ilir Seitaj on board four for the Filipinos' two victories.

IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia split the point with FM Franc Ashiku on board three.

GM John Paul Gomez, however, fell in ambush to untitled Llambi Pasko in their board two encounter.

The Filipinos’ second straight  win -- and fourth overall -- in  seven  rounds gave them eight points, good for  61st place,  or 40  places better than  their 101st place position in the fifth round.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) official Atty. ClIburn Orbe was pleased with  the Filipinos' seventh-round performance.

“A fighting win as the Albanian team proved themselves a tough nut to crack despite being outrated in all four boards,”  said Orbe in his Facebook post.

“GM Sadorra managed to activate his misplaced rook in h3 to win a rook vs. bishop endgame. A blunder by Albania's board 4 player allowed  IM Pascua to conjure a win out of nowhere and IM Garcia managed to hold the ensuing rook endgame,” reported Orbe.

The Filipinas’ remarkable run,   however,  came  to  an  abrupt end  at  the hands of  the  Georgians,  whom  they  beat 3-1, in 2016 Baku Olympiad.

WGM Janelle Mae Frayna and WIM  Marie Antoinette San Diego drew  their  matches  against IMs Salome Melia and Sofio Gvetadze,  respectively.

But losses by WFM Shania Mae Mendoza and WIM Bernadette Galas pulled the Filipinas down to 31st place with nine points (four wins,  one draw,  two losses) from a  high of 13th the previous day.

Eighth-round matches will pit the Philippines against Uruguay in the  men’s division and Argentina in the  women’s category.

Three teams -- United States, Azerbaijan  and  Poland -- share the lead in the men’s division  with 13 points on six wins and one draw.

Armenia shows the way in the women’s side with 13 points, followed  by China, Ukraine, Georgia-1 and  Romania with 12 points.

The moves:

Round 7

J. Sadorra vs. D. Mehmeti

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 b6 4. Bg2 Bb7 5. O-O Be7 6. b3 O-O 7. Bb2 c5 8. e3 d5 9. Nc3 dxc4 10. bxc4 Nc6 11. Qe2 Rc8 12. Rad1 Qc7 13. d3 Rfd8 14. Ne1 Rd7 15. g4 a6 16. g5 Ne8 17. f4 Nd6 18. Rf3 g6 19. Rh3 Qd8 20. Ba1 Bf8 21. Ne4 Nxe4 22. Bxe4 Bg7 23. Bxg7 Kxg7 24. Qb2+ Kg8 25. Nf3 Qc7 26. Rd2 Rcd8 27. a3 Rd6 28. Rg2 Rxd3 29. Bxd3 Rxd3 30. Rgg3 e5 31. Rh4 Rxe3 32. Nxe5 Rxg3+ 33. hxg3 Nxe5 34. Qxe5 Qc6 35. Qe2 Qd7 36. f5 Qxf5 37. Qe8+ Kg7 38. Rf4 Qe6 39. Qxe6 fxe6 40. Rf2 b5 41. Rd2 Be4 42. Rd7+ Kf8 43. Rc7 b4 44. Rxc5 b3 45. Rc8+ Ke7 46. Rb8 Bc2 47. Rb6 a5 48. a4 Kd7 49. Kf2 e5 50. Ke3 Kc7 51. Rb5 Kd6 52. Kd2 e4 53. Ke3 Kc6 54. Kd4 Kd6 55. Rd5+ Ke6 56. Re5+ Kd6 57. Rb5 Ke6 58. c5 Kd7 59. Kd5 e3 60. c6+ Ke8 61. Kd6