Tower of Strength
Grand master Eugene Torre, at 60 years of age is the tower of strength for the Philippine Chess Team in the 40th Chess Olympiad.
The Philippine Chess Team routed England with a 3-1 score courtesy of El Eugenio, the grand master of Asia who became a grand master in the 1974 Nice Olympiad. He bested familiar rival GM Nigel Short with the black pieces after 41 moves of a Nimzo – Indian in the 8th round and jumped to share of second to sixth places behind pacesetter Russia. The victory came after a 2.5 – 1.5 shocker over 10th rated Bulgaria and a 2-2 draw with 5 time Olympiad champion Hungary.
The win gave the Philippines 13 match points surpassing its 12 point in 2010 with still 3 rounds to go.
The 35th seeded Filipinos next face China, the Asian power house also with identical 13 points and trailing the mighty Russians, the 5 time champion of the Chess Olympiad.
The Chinese will be fielding Super GM Wang Hao against Wesley So, GM Ding Liren against Oliver Barbosa, GM Bu Xiangshi against Eugene Torre and GM Li Chao against Mark Paragua.
So and Torre will handle the white pieces while Barbosa and Paragua will play black in the matches starting at 8pm at Istanbul Expo Center, Turkey.
GM Eugene Torre is playing his 21st Olympic Game starting in 1974 where he won his grandmaster title by beating the former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov. He already surpassed the record of Yugoslavian grandmaster Svetozar Gligoric in number of games played in the Olympiad. He also surpassed the record of GM Lajos Portisch of Hungary as to the number of games won. Indeed, Torre is like a wine, the older he gets, the better he plays the game of chess.
By: Joey E. Clarin
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