Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Manila Bulletin

Torre, So win as PH stuns India

GUANGZHOU - Grandmasters Wesley So and Eugene Torre struck on opposite ends Monday, leading the Philippines to a shock 2.5-1.5 victory over defending champion India in the fifth round of the men's standard chess event in the 16th Asian Games. So, playing white on top board, outplayed P. Harikrishna while Torre outlasted P. Adhiban on the fourth board as the Filipinos beat India for the first time since the 1988 Chess Olympiad in Thessaloniki, Greece. GM Joey Antonio held GM Krishnan Sasikiran to a marathon draw with black while GM John Paul Gomez was the lone casualty, losing to GM Surya Ganguly at board three. With two rounds remaining before the knockout semifinals, the Filipinos are well-placed at No. 2 with eight points behind China's front-running 10 points. "We're in a strong position of making it into the semifinals," said team captain Willie Abalos. China, meanwhile, trounced Iran, 3-1, winning the last two boards while Kyrgyztan shocked highly-rated Vietnam, 3.5-0.5, to take third spot with 7 points. In another featured match-up, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan battled to a 2-all deadlock. Fresh from a 2.5-1.5 win over Kazakhstan with Gomez delivering the decisive win, the Filipinos drew another tough assignment in India, a team of GMs with ELO ratings in excess of 2600. But the 17-year-old So, attacking against the Caro-Kann, won a pawn during a complicated middle game which he used to set a winning endgame. Harikrishna resigned after 68 moves. Torre, playing black against the Guioco Piano, steered the game into an endgame where he had two pieces and three pawns against Adhiban's rook and three pawns. With both players under time trouble, Adhiban initiated an exchange in which he gave up his rook for a bishop, leaving Torre with one pawn and a knight against two pawns. An endgame expert, Torre promptly created a situation in which Adhiban had no alternative but to give up the pawns. He resigned after 74 moves.

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