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Pinoy woodpushers finish 3rd in Serbia

National Master Darry Bernardo came up with another strong performance to pull off a 79-move victory over Kumar Naveen of India with a Caro-Kann duel to lead the national squad to a third-place finish in the FIDE Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Belgrade.

Bernardo displayed incredible grit in delivering a match-saving victory on the fourth board that helped the Filipinos forge a 2-2 standoff with India in the sixth and final round.

The Filipinos emerged with 8.0 match points, the same output of India (fourth), Serbia 1 (fifth), and Uzbekistan (sixth). They were ranked according to their accumulated tie-break points.

“Right now, I don’t have anything on my mind. I am just happy,” said Bernardo, who won an individual gold medal on the fourth board with five wins and one draw for an undefeated record of 5.5 points in six outings of this tourney ruled by Poland with perfect 12.0 match points.

Earlier, playing coach NM James Infiesto lost to Inani Darpan of India after 57 moves of Bishop Opening on Board 3 while the match between FIDE Master Sander Severino and Kutwal Shashikant of India ended in a draw after 37 moves of Caro-Kann Defense on Board 1.

NM Henry Roger Lopez also forged a standoff with Gangolli Kishan as they split the points after 34 moves of Queen’s Gambit Declined on Board 2.

“We do this for flag and country,” Severino, who won an individual silver medal on the top board after tallying three wins and three draws, said.

Severino also became the first Filipino to clinch the International Physically Disabled Chess Association World Online Chess Rapid Championship title in 2020.

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