Hosts still looking for gold in chess
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - December 6, 2019 - 12:00am

SUBIC BAY, Zambales MANILA, Philippines —  The Philippines is still in search of its first gold medal in the chess competition of the 30th Southeast Asian Games. But you can call them the kings of the demo sports for now.

This after Eugene Torre, Darwin Laylo and Paolo Bersamina topped the men’s problem-solving event by beating the powerhouse Vietnam troika of Le Quang Liem, Nguyen Anh Koi and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son yesterday at the Traveler’s Hotel here.

The Filipino trio solved two out of three puzzles while Le, Nguyen and Ngoc unlocked the key to just one.

It was the second out of the three demo events that the Filipinos won after Jan Emmanuel Garcia topped online chess last Sunday.

The only other demo gold that slipped from the Filipinos’ hands was Fischer-random, whose current world champion, Wesley So, is a Filipino.

Unfortunately, these victories will not reflect in the official medal tally.

The host, which lost in rapid a few days back, will have a chance to claim its first gold as there are still three more golds at stake in the final three-days – one in ASEAN chess set today and tomorrow and two in men’s and women’s chess in blitz Sunday.

Laylo and Joey Antonio are the country’s bets in ASEAN chess, Daniel Quizon and David Elorta in men’s blitz and Janelle Mae Frayna and Cherry Ann Mejia in women’s blitz.

“Although it will be tough, we’re still hoping we get a gold,” said Jayson Gonzales, who co-coaches the national team with Torre.

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