"Wow" is about all I could say when I woke up this morning. The RP women's chess team have just drawn their match with Lithuania 1.5-1.5 in the 11th round of the Turin Olympiad.
Team veteran WFM Sheerie Lomibao lost to IM Viktorija Cmilyte on board one. RP's fortunes were rescued on board 2 when rookie Catherine Perena drew with 2423-rated IM Ciuksyte Dagne. It was then left to another team rookie Sheerily Cua to bring home the extra point by winning a tough 89-mover game over Daiva Batyte.
Two years ago, the Pinays finished in 48th place. This time it looks like they are well on the way to a higher placing. C'mon ladies! Their next assignment? Estonia.
On the men's side, the Pinoys went down to the star-studded Netherlands team 3-1. Antonio lost to van Wely, while Laylo was edged out by Nijboer. We expected Paragua to hold his own against Sokolov on board one and sure enough, the game was a draw. But how about Eugene Torre? Playing in his 19th consecutive Olympiad, a record, the guy must be on some sort of viagra (as one reader suggests). Eugene drew with Sergey Tiviakov on board 2.
We could say amazing, unbelievable, or any such expressions of surprise. But we'd be insulting this great man. Still, we do not agree with Bobby Ang's opinion that Torre should have been on board one.
1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 d5 3. e3 c5 4. Bxf6 gxf6 5. c4 cxd4 6. exd4 Qb6 7. Nc3 Qxb2 8. Nxd5 Bf5 9. Qc1 Qxc1+ 10. Rxc1 Na6 11. c5 O-O-O 12. Ne3 Be4 13. Bxa6 bxa6 14. Ne2 e6 15. Rc3 Bc6 16. O-O Bb5 17. Nc4 Be7 18. Rb1 Rd5 19. Ne3 Rdd8 20. Kf1 Kc7 21. Rb4 Rb8 22. Rcb3 Rhd8 23. Ke1 f5 24. Nc4 Bxc4 25. Rxc4 Rxb3 26. axb3 Rb8 27. Rc3 h5 28. Kd2 h4 29. Kc2 Rg8 30. g3 Rh8 31. Rf3 hxg3 32. hxg3 a5 33. g4 f6 34. gxf5 e5 35. dxe5 fxe5 36. Ng3 Bxc5 37. Ne4 Bf8 38. Rc3+ Kd7 39. Rd3+ Kc6 40. Rd8 Rh4 41. Kd3 Bb4 42. Ke3 Rf4 43. f6 Bc5+ 44. Nxc5 Kxc5 45. Rf8 Kd5 46. Ra8 Ke6 47. Rxa7 Rb4 48. Ra6+ Kf7 49. Rxa5 Rxb3+ 50. Ke4 Kxf6 51. Ra6+ Kf7 1/2-1/2
The Aussies, too, had a mixed day. Playing against the much weaker Dominican Republic, the Aussie boys lost 2.5-1.5. Rogers, playing the black side of a sharp Benko, could only draw on board 1. Smerdon, who has so far performed admirably, lost to FM Lisandro Munoz (2342). Zhao and Lane drew with Mazara (2189) and Infante (2163) respectively.
Women's team captain IM Leonid Sandler can now at least calm his nerves a touch as his charges pulled off a somewhat imperfect match victory. Last night the Aussies defeated Tajikistan 2-1. Both Moylan and Berezina drew their encounters, while Ngan-Koshnitsky won hers.
Round 12 Pairings
Australia - Faroe Islands
Philippines - Switzerland
NZ - Andorra
Italy A - Australia
Philippines - Estonia
Angola - NZ
More details from the WZ site and the Official site. I've also added the official logo on my right-bar. Click on it and you'll see a post with essential Olympiad coverage. Robert Huntington's blog is a must-read.