Pinoy chessers keep podium hopes alive

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Playing captain James Infiesto eked out a miraculous draw from what looked like a losing position against International Master Andrei Gurbanov as the Philippines escaped with a 2-2 standoff with second seed Israel, 2-2, and stayed in contention in the 1st FIDE Olympiad for People with Disabilities in Belgrade, Serbia Friday.

Infiesto’s board three draw, coupled with Darry Bernardo’s 28-move win over Woman FIDE Master Aleksandra Aleksandrova on fourth board and FM Sander Severino’s 74-move split with Grandmaster Yehuda Gruenfeld on top board, gave the Filipinos a share of No. 3 with Israel, Hungary and India with seven match points each. Henry Lopez lost to FM Alexey Streltsov on the second board.

Top seed Poland stayed perfect and on top with a 3-1 bashing of India with 10 points while IPCA (International Physically Disabled Chess Association), a 3.5-.5 winner over Cuba, zoomed to No. 2 with eight points.

The Filipinos, fully backed by the Philippine Sports Commission, were eyeing a crucial win over the Indians, in the final and sixth round at press time.

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