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Chess Olympiad: Paragua downs reigning world champ as PH takes draw vs Poland

The Philippines kept up its giant-scalping ways as it held 5th seed Poland to a 2-2 draw in the seventh round Friday night to remain in the race in the 44th World Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India.

Grandmaster Mark Paragua delivered perhaps one of his biggest victories to date after he brought down reigning World Cup titlist and World No. 18 Jan-Krzysztof Duda on top board to seal the stunning deadlock.

GM Banjo Barcenilla drew with super GM Kacper Piorun on the second board that helped catapult the Filipinos, who are backed by the Philippine Sports Commission, in an 18-nation tie at No. 14 with 10 match points apiece.

The country trailed, .5-1.5, after GM John Paul Gomez drew with GM Wojciech Moranda on the third board while GM Darwin Laylo imploded in deep time pressure and blundered away his drawing chances and lost to GM Mateusz Bartel on fourth board.

Good thing Paragua saved the day in pulling off the magnificent result against a team that owns an impressive average rating of 2654 against the country’s 2451 norm.
It was the third time the country caught a big fish with the first two coming at the expense of Sweden, 2.5-1.5, in the fifth round Tuesday and Israel, 2-2, the next round.

Now the Filipinos hope to add another one to their growing list of victims as they were tackling the fancied Greeks in the eighth round at press time.

In the women’s section, the Filipinas stormed back into significance after drubbing the listless Bolivians, 3.5-.5, on wins by WGM Janelle Mae Frayna, and WIMs Marie Antoinette San Diego and Kylen Joy Mordido on boards one, two and four and a draw by WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda on board two.

#ReadMore  SEA Games: Janelle Frayna, Shania Mendoza assured of top two finish in chess

They were clashing with the favored Slovenians at press time.

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