MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine women’s team swooped down on Egypt, 3-1, to improve to joint 23rd but its men’s squad continued to flounder, losing to Belgium, 1.5-2.5, in the seventh round of the 41st Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway Saturday.
Janelle Mae Frayna, Jan Jodilyn Fronda and Catherine Perena beat WGM Shrook Wafa, Ayah Moaataz and Sohayla Abdelmenaem on boards two to four, respectively, more than making up for top board player Chardine Camacho’s setback to WGM Khaled Mona in 58 moves of a Caro-Kann.
The Filipinas’ back-to-back victories, including their sweep of UAE Friday, should further boost their confidence as they play the Mongolians in the eighth round of the 11-round biennial meet. The No. 28 Mongolia routed Paraguay, 3-1.
But while the Pinays sustained their surge, the men’s team fell farther back after absorbing another loss, this time to the Belgians as IM Paulo Bersamina bowed to IM Stefan Docx in 48 moves of a Torre Attack.
If it were any consolation, GMs Julio Catalino Sadorra, John Paul Gomez and Eugene Torre all salvaged draws from inferior positions against GMs Luc Winants and Bart Michiels and IM Tanguy Ringoir, respectively.
The Filipinos thus fell to joint 76th although they are expected to rebound against Bangladesh in the eighth round.
Torre, meanwhile, remains unbeaten with two wins and five draws for 4.5 points while Bersamina and Sadorra, who are playing their first ever Olympiad, have 3.5 points apiece with Gomez adding 2.5 points on the second board.