Manila, Philippines – Improving on their finishes two years ago will be the target of the men’s and women’s teams when they plunge into action in the 40th Chess Olympiad from Aug. 27 to Sept. 10 at the Istanbul Expo Center in Turkey.
“We’ll be aiming for a top 20 finish, but if given a chance we will try to be in the top 10 again,“ said Eugene Torre, Asia’s first Grandmaster, during Friday’s SCOOP Sa Kamayan session on Padre Faura.
“Reachable yung top 20,“ the 60-year-old Torre, owner of a World Chess Olympiad 19 straight appearance and 21, told the forum sponsored by Powerade, AKTV and FILA.
“And if we will look into the experience of our lineup based on the player’s ELO rating, the chances of landing in the top 10 will not be that totally impossible.“
The Philippines ended up 50th during the 39th edition of the Olympiad held in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia two years ago.
Board One in the men’s team will be manned by the country’s youngest GM Wesley So, only 18 but with an ELO rating of 2650. Board Two is Oliver Barbosa (2554), Board Three Torre (2416), and Board Four Mark Paragua (2508), the reigning National Open champion who had just topped the recent “Battle of Grandmasters.“
National Chess Federation of the Philippines executive director Jayson Gonzales, who will be coaching both the men’s and the women’s sides, also said that the Filipina players are likewise capable of a higher finish than their 44th place.