|So, Torre win as Pinoys stun Indians|
|Monday, 22 November 2010 20:19|
|Standings after five rounds:|
10 points -- China
8 -- Philippines
7 -- Kyrgyzstan
6 -- India, Qatar, Uzbekistan
5 -- Iran, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Iraq
4 -- Bangladesh, Mongolia, Korea
3 -- Maldives
2 -- Yemen
1 -- Jordan, Lebanon
GUANGZHOU, China -- On another bleak day for the Philippines in nearly all fronts, GMs Wesley So and Eugene Torre put the smile back on the Filipinos’ faces in the 16th Asian Games here Monday.
So, undoubtedly the brightest Filipino chess player to emerge in recent years, outwitted GM Pentala Harikrishna in their keenly-watched board one showdown to lead the Filipinos to a morale-boosting 2.5-1.5 upset win over second seed India in the fifth round of the chess competitions at the Guangzhou Chess Institute.
Torre, the most recognizable figure in local chess since becoming Asia’s first-ever GM in 1974, capped the Filipinos’ big day when he defeated GM B. Adhiban on board four.
GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr. also did his part by drawing with GM Krishnan Sasikiran in board two.
Only GM John Paul Gomez, the hero in the Philippines’ 2.5-1.5 triumph over Kazakhstan last Sunday, did not count as he lost to GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly in board three.
The smashing win propelled the sixth-seeded Filipinos to solo second place behind top seed China with eight points on four wins and one loss in the tough, nine-round competition which attracted 25 countries.
China trounced Iran, 3-1, behind the victories of GMs Bu Xiangzhi and Zhou Jianchao over GM Homayoon Toufighi and IM Ashgar Golizadeh in the lower boards
The Chinese, who are widely favored to sweep the gold medals in both the men’s and women’s divisions, have now beaten all their five opponents, including the Filipinos in the third round.
National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay had kind words for the Filipino chessers.
“They (Filipinos) are really making all of us proud right now,” said Pichay, who congratulated the team through delegation head/coach Willie Abalos.
“The players are performing to expectations even against our traditionally-strong Asian rivals. I like our chances now even with still four rounds left,” added Pichay.
NCFP secretary-general and Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino also congratulated the team, and urged them to continue to do well and bring honors to the country.
The Filipinos’ sixth-round opponent is former Russian republic Uzbekistan, which drew with Kazakhstan, 2.-2.
The Uzbeks are bannered by GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Anton Filippov.
Kasimdzhanov bagged the individual gold medal in the rapid chess competitions with six wins and three draws.
Overall, So, Antonio and Torre have three points apiece, while Gomez had two.
So and Torre had two wins and two draws apiece, while Antonio had one win and four draws.
Gomez, the only other player to see action in all five rounds so far, had one win, two draws and two losses.
GM Darwin Laylo had 1-1 win-loss record.
No.10 seed Kyrgyzstan shocked fourth seed Vietnam, 3.5-.5 to grab solo third place with seven points.
Unheralded Algis Shukuraliev shocked GM Le Quang Liem, Nurdin Samakov stunned GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son and Nasyr Akylbelkov toppled GM Cao Sang for Kyrgyzstan’s three victories.
IM Nguyen Huyn Minh Huy averted a shutout when he escaped with a draw against FM Semetey Tologontegin in board four.
In other fifth-round results, Qatar edged Bangladesh, 2.5-1.5; Iraq stopped Mongolia, 2.5-1.5; Korea nipped Maldives, 2.5-1.5; and Yemen outclassed Jordan, 3.5-.5.
India, Qatar and Uzbekistan now share fourth to sixth places with six points.