RP chessers trip Iraqis
() - November 6, 2002 - 12:00am
BLED — The Philippines crushed Iraq, 3-1, Monday as a gift to grandmaster Eugene Torre who turned 51 here at the 35th World Chess Olympiad.

The Filipinos showed little respect to the Iraqis, whose two key players were stopped by grandmaster Bong Villanueva and IM Nelson Mariano II.

Villamayor defeated Ali Gattea, a Fide master, in 39 moves of a Queen’s Gambit, Tarrasch variation. Mark Paragua drew against International Master Sarsam Saaed in 75 moves of a Sicilian Defense.

Nelson Mariano II trounced Hadar Jaefri in 55 moves of a French Defense and Joey Antonio, handling board one, drew with Iwad Ahmad Aziz in 21 moves of a Sicilian.

The victory catapulted the Philippines, which now has 20.5 points, to a share of 29th to 35th places just as the battle for the top spot heated up.

The Filipinos will face Colombia in Tuesday’s 10th round.

Hungary upset Russia once more, 2.5-1.5, to narrow the gap between them to half-a-point with five rounds left. Reserve Robert Ruck delivered the clincher on board four by surprising Peter Svidler in 34 moves of a Sicilian Defense.

Russia, which is led by defending champion Garry Kasparov, has 24.5 points while Hungary has 24 points. China is next with 23.5 point.

The women’s team slid further down the standings, as grandmaster candidate Arianne Caoili continued her inexplicable loss of form, this time against Canada.

Caoili fell to veteran Nava Starr in 32 moves of a Benko Gambit, and Sheerie Joy Lomibao blundered away a rook against Amanda Benggawan in a 52-move Closed Sicilian.

International woman master Beverly Mendoza drew with Dina Kagramanov a 42-move Sicilian.

The Filipinas’ next opponent is Italy, which is one of the seven countries tied from 56th to 62nd places.

ALI GATTEA AMANDA BENGGAWAN ARIANNE CAOILI BENKO GAMBIT BEVERLY MENDOZA BONG VILLANUEVA CLOSED SICILIAN DINA KAGRAMANOV EUGENE TORRE NELSON MARIANO SICILIAN DEFENSE
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