This breaks the consecutive-Olympiad streak of GM Eugene Torre, who did not participate in the Grand Finals. He was both Junior and Adult Champion in the Philippines in 1970 but gave way to the Asian Zone Champion Renato Naranja as top board player in the Siegen Olympiad. Eugene then registered a record by playing top board in 17 straight Olympiads, from Skopje 1972 up to Calvia de Mallorca in 2004. His 19 consecutive appearances in the Olympiad team (the 17 above plus 1970 Siegen and 2006 Turin) is also a record.
[NCFP president] Cong. Pichay lamented GM Torre's inability to take part in the competition, but averred that the rules for the selection to the Olympiad team were announced several months ago and he did not want to be the one to break them. Besides, most of the participants had to pass through elimination and semi-final tournaments to qualify, whereas the GMs were seeded directly into the Grand Finals.
And then adding this tidbit:
Cong. Pichay also took the occasion to announce that henceforth all official tournaments in the Philippines will be played under the so-called "Sofia Rules", where no draw offers are allowed and, to claim a draw, you have to go through the arbiter.
Pichay's equal opportunity, no favoritism approach is highly commendable and have paid dividends for Philippine chess, in the short time of his leadership.
We wonder what would Campomanes bitch about this time? Give everybody the opportunity to play, or select the same few?
Torre and Antonio had ample time to get ready and in shape. If they were not confident in playing and beating our young talents in the final qualifying, how can they play confidently and play well against the big guns in the World Olympiad?
Here's wishing our new young Philippine team the best!
Sofia rules, to my opinion, could be only applied in tournaments with less than 5 rounds to fight with otherwise players would suffer from both mental and physical exhaustion if not allowed an occasional quick draws which is not good for the over well being of the players.
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