MANILA, Philippines — Grandmaster Mark Paragua sparked a perfect win over Kyrgyzstan in the first round then GM Banjo Barcenilla saved a victory over Indonesia in the next as the Philippines got off to a soaring start in the first FIDE Online Olympiad yesterday.
With a 2-0 opening roll, Team Agila ng Pilipinas shared the lead with Australia, Germany, Bulgaria with four points apiece.
Paragua delivered the knockout punch on top board against International Master Asyl Abdyjapar as the Philippines smashed Kyrgyzstan, 6-0, early on.
The New York-based Paragua was unforgiving and swift in wrapping up his game in just 20 moves, completely outplaying the hapless Abdyjapar in an English duel by snaring his foe’s Queen early.
It was a great inspiration for the team that later drew other wins from GM Joey Antonio, WIM Catherine Secopito, Jerlyn Mae San Diego, Michael Concio and WIM Bernadette Galas.
Down 1-2 in the second round following draws byParagua and WGM Janelle Mae Frayna with GM Susanto Megaranto and IM Irine Sukandar and a loss by WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda to IM Medina Warda Aulia, Team Agila salvaged the round with victories by IM Daniel Quizon and Barcenilla and a draw by WIM Kylen Joy Mordido.
Quizon topped IM Gilbert Elroy Tarigan while Mordido split the point with WIM Ummi Fisabilillah despite being a pawn down.
In the earlier round, the ageless Antonio followed a tip to employ the Four Knights variation against Andrei Maznitsin’s unpolished English Opening to carve out a 32-move triumph on second board.
Secopito then won over Diana Omurbekova followed by triumphs by San Diego, Concio and Galas over Shakhnazi Musaeva, Aziz Degenbaev and Aizhan Alymbai Kyzy, respectively, to cap the one-sided result.
In the second round at press time, the Philippines was battling Southeast Asian rival Indonesia, which trounced Turkmenistan, 4.5-1.5. Playing were Paragua, GM Banjo Barcenilla, WGM Janelle Mae Frayna, WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, IM Daniel Quizon and WIM Kylen Joy Mordido.
Other opening round results were Germany over Bangladesh, 4.5-1.5, Bulgaria over Belarus, 3.5-2.5, and Australia over Belgium.
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star
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