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Phl chessers place 32nd

The Philippines wound up in 32nd place following its stunning victory over third-seed Norway in the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India Thursday.

The Filipinos won six matches, drew twice and lost thrice to finish the 11-round Swiss System tournament with 14 points, five behind new champion Uzbekistan.

Unbeaten Grandmaster John Paul Gomez, playing board three, was the team’s best scorer with 7 points in 10 matches.

Top board player GM Mark Paragua, who upset reigning world Under-18 champion Jan-Krysztof of Poland in the eighth round, scored 6.5 out of a possible 10.

GM Darwin Laylo collected four wins and two draws against a single defeat to tally 6 points in nine outings.

GM Rogelio Barcenilla and International Master Paulo Bersamina each had 4 points in seven and eight matches, respectively.

Bersamina provided the decisive point in the Filipinos’ landmark win over Norway, home to world champion GM Magnus Carlsen.

Ranked 52nd before the start of the tournament, the Filipinos finished fourth in Group A behind Moldova, Kazakhstan and Montenegro. They were the lowest-ranked squad in the Top 10.

Uzbekistan edged the Netherlands, 2.5-1.5, in the final round to win the tournament over Armenia via countback.

India 2 was alone in third place with 18 followed by India and the United States with similar 17 points.

The individual gold medalists were GM. D. Gukesh of India 2, board 1; GM Nihal Sarin of India 2, board 2; GM David Howell of England, board 3; GM Jakhongir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan, board 4; and GM Mateusz Bartel, board 5.

In women’s play, the Filipinas ended up in 37th after losing to Cuba in the final round.

They scored 13 points behind 6 wins, 1 draw and 4 losses, five shots behind champion Ukraine.

Woman GM Janelle Mae Frayna and WIM Kylen Joy Mordido, playing on opposite ends, were the top scorers with 6.5 points apiece in nine and 10 games, respectively.

WIMs Jan Jodilyn Fronda and Marie Antoinette San Diego posted identical 6 points in 11 and 9 matches while WFM Shania Mae Mendoza played five games, winning only twice for 2 points.

Ukraine collected 18 points and edged Georgia via countback to capture the title. Host India was third with 17.

The medalists were GM Pia Cramling of Sweden, board 1; GM Nino Batsiashvili of Georgia, board 2; WIM Oliwia Kiolbasa of Poland, board 3; Bat-Erdene Mungunzul of Mongolia, board 4; and WGM Jana Schneider of Germany, board 5.

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