Friday, September 16, 2016

42nd World Chess Olympiad (Baku, Azerbaijan)

The 42nd World Chess Olympiad held in Baku, Azerbaijan from September 1-22 has just been concluded with Team USA taking the gold in the Men’s Division and China for Women. This spectacle is considered to be one of the most number of participants with more than 180 countries.

Final Position: Torre, Eugene (PHI/White) vs. Ly, Moulthun (AUS/Black)
42nd World Chess Olympiad; Round 11; Baku 2016; 1-0

Eugene Torre captured the bronze medal on Board 3 with a sterling performance of 10 points (out of a possible 11) anchored on 9 wins and 2 fighting draws.  It was the Torre that we used to know during the entire Olympiad. He was undefeated at age 64! It is his record breaking 23rd appearance at this biennial event and hopefully not the last!  We cannot forget how Torre led the Philippines to its highest (7th place) finish in 1988 at Thessaloniki, Greece.

Despite the heroics of Torre, the Philippine Men’s Team unexpectedly landed on 58th place after a regrettable defeat to the Australians in the final round (1.5 – 2.5).

The Women’s Team finished 38th overall - a great improvement compared to their 64th place finish in Tromso, Norway two years ago.  This Olympiad, while marred with setbacks and frustrations, is historic after Janelle Mae Frayna earned a Woman Grandmaster Title - a first in Philippine Chess.

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