Sadorra, Pascua keep Pinoy pride alive in Batumi

October 03, 2018

THE Philippines continued its remarkable  climb with a decisive 3-1 win over Uruguay thanks to superb showings of GM Julio Catalino  Sadorra and  IM Haridas Pascua in the 43rd World Chess Olympiad.

Sadorra, who is playing top board for the country for the third straight Olympiad since GM Wesley So’s departure in 2014, humbled   GM Andres Rodriguez Vila  to extend his winning streak to three games.

And Pascua, one of three young players making their Olympiad debut, outclassed FM Rafael Muniz on board four for an even better four-game winning run.

Sadorra and Pascua are the two hottest players during the Filipinos' rollercoaster campaign in the 11-round competition featuring the world's best players from 185 countries.

The United States-based Sadorra is the Filipinos' leading scorer with five wins and three draws for  6.5 points in eight games or a performance rating of 2658.

Pascua is second best with 5.5/7 on five wins, one draw and one loss.

GM John Paul Gomez drew with FM Nicolas Lopez and IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia split the point with IM Luis Ernesyo Rodi in other matches.

Overall, the GM Eugene Torre-coached Filipinos have raised their score to 10 points on five wins and three losses and moved to a share of 33rd to 54th places,  or 47th place after tiebreak.

That's 54 places higher from the day they hit rock-bottom at 101st place in the fifth round.

The 54th-seeded Filipinos will try to  climb even higher when they meet No. 95 seed Zambia in the ninth round.

Two more victories against second-tier teams in the final two rounds can catapult the country to at least a Top 30 finish.

But while the men's team is on the upswing, the women's squad of WGM Janelle Mae Frayna is going south

A 1.5-2.5 setback to No. 30 seed Argentina -- the second in as many days -- pulled the Filipinas down to 48th place with nine points ,  exactly two days after reaching a high of 13th in the 150-nation women's field.

Frayna lost to IM Carolina Lujan and Catherine Perena-Secopito fell to WIM Maria Florencia Fernandez in the first two boards.

WIM Narie Antoinette San Diego saved the day with a victory over WIM Ayelen Martinez on board three.

WIM Bernadette Galas drew with WIM Marisa Zuriel on board four.

The Philippines, seeded No. 43, will face South Korea, seeded No. 77, in the ninth round.

The 12-man Filipino delegation is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC),  headed by Chairman William "Butch"  Ramirez and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), led by President/Chairman Prospero "Butch" Pichay.

The moves:

Round 9

A. Rodriguez Vlla vs. J. Sadorra

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 h6 5. O-O d6 6. c3 g6 7. d4 Qe7 8. dxe5 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qe2 Bg7 11. b3 Nh5 12. g3 Bd7 13. Qe3 Bh3 14. Rd1 O-O 15. Ba3 Rfd8 16. Rd5 Rxd5 17. exd5 Qd7 18. Nd2 Nf6 19. Ne4 Nxd5 20. Qe2 Rd8 21. Rd1 Nf4 22. Qd2 Qxd2 23. Rxd2 Rxd2 24. Nxd2 Ne6 25. f3 Ng5 26. Be7 Bf8 27. Bxg5 Bc5+ 28. Kh1 hxg5 29. Ne4 Be3 30. Nf6+ Kf8 31. g4 c6 32. Nd7+ Kg7 33. Nxe5 f6 34. Nd7 Bd2 35. Nc5 f5 36. Be2 Bxc3 37. Nxb7 Kf6 38. Nd8 Ke5 39. Nxc6+ Kf4 40. gxf5 Ke3 41. Kg1 Kxe2 42. fxg6 Ke1             0-1