MANILA, Philippines –The Philippines' run was halted by chess rival China, 0.5-3.5, in the 9th round of the 40th World Chess Olympiad Friday morning (Manila Time) at the WOW Convention Center in Istanbul, Turkey.
The loss dropped the Filipinos into a tie for 8th to 16th place with 13 points.
Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So (ELO 2652) prevented a shutout loss to China by splitting the point with GM Wang Hao (2726) after 64 moves of King's Indian defense on Board 1.
GM Oliver Barbosa (2554) bowed to GM Ding Liren (2695) Board 2, GM Eugene Torre (2469) yielded to GM Bu Xiangzhi (2670) on Board 3 while GM Mark Paragua (2508) was beaten by GM Li Chao (2665) on Board 4.
With the win, China tallied 15 points and gained a share of lead with Russian Federation, Armenia, and the USA.
Meanchile, Filipina chessers succumbed to Romania, 1.5-2.5.
Woman International Master (WIM) Catherine Perena and Woman National Master (WNM) Jedara Docena yielded to WIM Irina Bulmaga and WGM Alina L’Ami, respectively.
WNM Janelle Mae Frayna drew with Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Elena-Luminita Costa, while WNM Jan Jodilyn Fronda nipped WGM Mihaela Sandu.
The PH women's team is stuck with 10 points, good for a share of 38th to 53rd place.
In the tenth round, the men’s team plays opposite Vietnam while the women’s team goes up against Malaysia. -- By Marlon Bernardino