Filipino chess bets aim to upset Poles 

THE Philippines try to slay a mighty fifth-seeded Poland in their seventh-round showdown that could make or break the Filipinos’ bid in the 44th World Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India.

The Filipinos will field an all-grandmaster (GM) line up composed of Mark Paragua, Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla Jr. and John Paul Gomez with hopes of matching the dread four-some of Jan Krzysztof Duda, Kacper Piorun, Wjciech Moranda and Mateusz Bartel, whose average rating of 2654 is way above the Philippines’ 2451.

But the country has shown it can defy odds after shocking fancied Sweden, 2.5-1.5, and holding heavily favored Israel to a 2-2 draw in the previous two rounds.

“Nothing is impossible, we will just fight until the end,” said Laylo, an Armyman from Dasmarinas, Cavite.

The Filipinos are currently in an 11-nation tie at 14th spot with nine match points and could make the top 10 anew if they upset the Poles.

The Filipinas, on the other hand, reinserted Woman GM Janelle Mae Frayna into the lineup in place of Woman FIDE Master Shania Mae Mendoza with an aim of blowing some life back into their campaign.

The county slipped to a 13-country tie for 48th spot with seven points after a 2-2 draw with lower-ranked Bolivia in the sixth round Wednesday.

Also playing are Woman International Masters Jan Jodilyn Fronda, Marie Antoinette San Diego and Kylen Joy Mordido.