Torre prevails as Filipinos draw with Hungary

Posted at 09/05/2012 4:42 PM | Updated as of 09/05/2012 4:42 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Asia’s first Grandmaster (GM) Eugene Torre flashed his old deadly form by beating GM Ferenc Berkes to help the Philippines salvage a 2-2 draw against fourth seed Hungary in the seventh round of the World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey.

The new grandfather rescued the Philippines from the jaws of defeat with a gritty 81-move victory on Board 3.

With the draw, the Philippines improved its total to 11 match points, good for a share of fourth spot behind solo leader Russian Federation (13 match points) and second placers China and Ukraine (12 match points each).

The Philippines trailed by a point after GM Oliver Barbosa lost to GM Almasi Zoltan on Board 2.

But the 60-year-old Torre turned a complicated position into his favor.

It was vintage performance from a man 34 years older than his opponent. The 27-year-old Berkes’ ELO 2685 rating is actually 216 points ahead of Torre’s.

Torre recently became a grandfather after his only daughter gave birth.

GMs Wesley So and Mark Paragua also produced impressive performances, holding their higher rated foes to draws.

So split the point with GM Peter Leko on Board 1 while Paragua halved the point with GM Csaba Balogh on Board 4.

Meanwhile, the Philippine women’s team bounced back from a sixth round defeat by toppling Portugal, 3-1.

Woman FIDE Master (WFM) Rulp Ylem Jose and Woman National Master (WNM) Jedara Docena scored the decisive points by beating WFM Ana Baptista and Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Sara Monteiro, respectively.

Woman International Master (WIM) Catherine Perena drew with WIM Caterina Leite, while WNM Janelle Mae Frayna split the point with Maria Oliviera on 3.

In the eighth round, the men’s team will meet England, while the women’s team goes up against USA. -- By Marlon Bernardino