Eugene Torre bags bronze in World Chess Olympiad

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 14 2016 01:58 PM

Filipino grandmaster Eugene Torre ended his 42-year medal drought in the World Chess Olympiad after claiming the bronze on board three in the 42nd edition of the tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan.

It was Torre's first medal in the Olympiad after he captured the silver in 1974 games in Nice, France where he also became the first Asian grandmaster.

The veteran woodpusher capped his campaign with a marathon win over International Master Moulthun Ly of Australia and finished the tournament with an unbeaten record of nine wins and two draws for a total of 10 points.

Torre garnered the highest total points after the 11-round competition but settled for bronze due to the contest regulation of giving the gold to the participant who earned the highest performance rating.

Going home with the highest individual award was former Philippine top chess player GM Wesley So, who suited up for the eventual champion United States, after registering a 2896 performance rating.

Hungary's GM Zoltan Almasi clinched the silver with a 2845 rating, while Torre got 2836 to round up the top three finishers.

The performance of Torre was a bright spot for the Philippines after its men's team finished 58th overall, ending its campaign with a 1.5-2.5 loss to Australians.

Meanwhile, the Filipina chessers improved from its 64th place finish in the 2014 Olympiad in Norway after settling for 34th in biennial competition.

The Pinay players, however, could have made it to the top 10 best performers or 18th at worst with a final round win. However, they absorbed a 1-3 loss to 12th seed Lithuania.

Catherine Secopito delivered the lone win by stunning WIM Salomeja Zaksaite on board three, while Janelle Mae Frayna, Jan Jodilyn Fronda and Shania Mae Mendoza fell to GM Viktorija Cmilyte, IM Deimante Daulyte and WFM Daiva Batyte on boards one, two and four, respectively.

Despite the result, Frayna still made history after becoming the first Filipina to become woman grandmaster.

"We're excited of the future, especially in women's chess," said GM Jayson Gonzales, the NCFP executive director and women's captain.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.