Pascua makes Philippines Olympiad team
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - February 14, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Haridas Pascua will make his second World Chess Olympiad appearance in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia where he hopes to close in on the Grandmaster title that has eluded him for five long years now.

Pascua, a 26-year-old International Master, bested Grandmaster Darwin Laylo and IMs Jan Emmanuel Garcia and Daniel Quizon, by scoring four points out of possible six in claiming the fifth and last seat to the national squad seeing action in the biennial meet set Aug. 5 to 18.

The Baguio-based Mangatarem, Pangasinan-born Pascua will join early qualified bets GM Julio Catalino Sadorra, John Paul Gomez and Banjo Barcenilla and IM Paulo Bersamina.

“Although it has been five years now, I will not stop chasing that GM title. Hopefully, I’ll get some rating points in the Olympiad,” said Pascua.

Pascua had actually clinched the third and final GM norm in the Abu Dhabi Masters five years ago but FIDE regulations say he cannot be awarded the title until he breaches the 2500-rating plateau.

He is currently rated 2418.

In ruling the four-player event, Pascua won three and drew two in his first five games to go into the final round needing just a draw to claim the Olympiad slot.

He lost though to the 15-year-old Quizon, giving Laylo a chance to catch up on Pascua and force a playoff with a win over Garcia.

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