By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
The Philippines smashed Ireland, 5-1, in the sixth round to remain in the hunt for a spot into the next phase of Division 2’s Pool A of the 2021 FIDE Online Olympiad Friday.
International Master Jan Emmanuel Garcia, Grandmaster Darwin Laylo, Woman GM Janelle Mae Frayna, FIDE Master Alekhine Nouri and Jersey Marticio provided the victories to help the Filipinos stay at No. 2 with 10 match points.
WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda was the lone casualty after falling to WIM Trisha Kanyamarala.
The Filipinos, coached by GM Eugene Torre with GM Jayson Gonzales as delegation head, were actually leading after four rounds following a 4-2 win over Singapore but slipped to the No. 2 after bowing to Indonesia, 4.5-1.5, in the fifth.
Indonesia stayed at the helm with 11 match points with a 5-1 thumping of Australia.
The Filipinos next clash with Kyrgyzstan, Shenzen-China and Bangladesh in the last three rounds Saturday with hopes of finishing in the Top 3 for a spot in the four-pool Top Division.