Pinoy chessers complete twin kill in Batumi Olympiad opener

September 25, 2018

NO GM Wesley So, no GM Eugene Torre, no WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, no problem for the Philippines.

The Philippines pulled off similar 4-0 shutout victories over No. 144 seed San Marino and Mozambique in the first round of the 43rd World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia late Monday.

The Filipinos, who are playing minus Torre for only second time since 1970, swept San Marino, 4-0, to arrange a second-round showdown against No. 48 Slovakia in the  men’s tournament.

GM Julio Catalino Sadorra, IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia, IM Haridas Pascua and FM Mari Joseph Turqueza  hurdled their respective opponents to jumpstart the Filipinos' bid to improve their dismal 58th-place finish in Baku,  Azerbaijan two years ago.

Sadorra, now the country's highest rated player following the transfer of GM Wesley So to the United  States in 2014, outclassed Paul Rossini on board one.

Garcia demolished Giancarlo Berardi, Pascua dumped FM Ebrico Grassi and Turqueza overwhelmed CM  Danilo Volpinari to complete the  rout.

Torre,  who  holds the record for consecutive  Olympiad  appearance  from 1970  to 2016,  now serves as coach of the five-player men's team.

In the women's division, WGM Janelle Mae Frayna humbled  WIM Vania Fausto Da Vilhete to lead the Filipinas' dominant showing against the lowly-ranked Mozanbique.

Also winning their matches were WIM Catherine Secopito, who trounced Katina Efentakis; WFM Shania Mae Mendoza, who routed  Suzete Vicente Jefo; and WIM Marie Antoinette San Diego, who smothered Cheila Andre Sitoe.

Not with the team now s Fronda, who held fort for the Filipinas in  Baku two  years ago.

Up next for the GM Jayson Gonzales-coached Filipinas is No. 35 Slovenia.

Impressive as it was, the Filipinos’  twin triumph cannot be consider as a gauge yet since the Swiss system format calls for higher-placed teams to first play against their lower-placed counterparts.

So, who played for the Philippines in four straight Olympiads (2006 Turin, 2008 Dresden, 2010 Khanty-Mansiysk and 2012 Istanbul) before moving to the US, also had a rousing debut.

So, a member of the US team which captured the championship in the 2016 Olympiad in Baku, whipped Roberto Carlos Sanchez of  Panama to lead the Americans' 4-0 win.

The Cavite-born So, who will turn 26 next month,  played top board for the Americans in place of world cgampionship candidate GM Fabiano Caruana.

Also posting 4-0 victories were No.2 Russia,No. 7 France, No. 10 Israel, Poland, Netherlands, Czech Republic,  Gernany,  Croatia, Peru,  Argentina, Romania, Turkey,  Iran,  Spain, Greece,  Slovenia , Vietnam and Brazil.

No. 3 China,  however, was held to 3-1 result by Morocco.

Candidate  master Mohamed-Mehdi  Aithmidou  of Morocco  provided  the  opening-day  shocker  when  he   toppled  GM  Li Chao of  China.

IM  Andrew  Kayonde of Zambia  and Shinya Kojiam of Japan  also  created  a stir  when they  battled  their  highly-rated   opponents to a draw.

Kayonde  split the  point  with GM   Vassily  Ivanchuk of  Ukraine  and  Kojima  halved the  point with  GM Gabriel  Sargissian of Armenia in a pair of remarkable opening-day   performances.

The results left both  No.  6 Ukraine  and  No. 8 Armenia    with only 3.5/4.

In  the  women’s division, top seed  Russia defeated   No. 74 Costa Rica, 3.5-.5, despite  the draw  by   GM Aleksandra  Goryachkina  against   WIM Maria Rodriguez Arrieta.

In other results, Ukraine  whipped  Monaco. 4-0;      China downe Tajikistan, 3.5-.5; and Georgia-1 humbled South Korea, 3-1.

The moves:

Round 1

M. Turqueza (Phi) vs. D. Volpinari (San Marino)

1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 c6 3. d4 e6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 Bb4 6. e3 b5 7. Bd2 a5 8. axb5 Bxc3 9. Bxc3 cxb5 10. b3 Bb7 11. bxc4 b4 12. Bb2 Nf6 13. Bd3 O-O 14. Qc2 Nbd7  15. h4 h5 16. Ng5 Qe7 17. Be2 g6  18. f4 Rfc8 19. e4 Nf8 20. O-O Ne8 21. Qd3 Nd6 22. c5 Ne8 23. Qg3 f6 24. Nf3 Bxe4 25. Nd2 Bf5 26. Bxh5 Qg7 27. Bd1 Qh6 28. Nc4 Rd8 29. Nxa5 Be4 30. Nc4 Rxa1 31. Bxa1 Qh7 32. Re1 Qb7 33. h5 Bf5 34. Ne3 Be4 35. hxg6 Qg7 36. f5 Bd5 37. Nxd5 Rxd5 38. Bb3 Rxf5 39. Rxe6 

1-0