Silver that glitters like gold for Pinoy chessers

May 30, 2022 Ed Andaya 653 views

THE Philippines’ two silver and three bronze medals haul in the recent 2022 Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi should serve as an “added motivation to Filipino chess players to do even better.”

GM Darwin Laylo said the Filipinos’performance is good enough considering the lack of face-to-face training of the men’s national team due to the pandemic.

It is also a big improvement to the Filipinos’ medal-less campaign when the country hosted the 2019 SEA Games in Subic, Zambales on Dec. 1-8.

“I would say maganda yun performance ng team. Paolo (Bersamina) and I brought home the silver medal in men’s team rapid competition,” said Laylo during the 22nd “Sports On Air Weekly” program via Zoom last Saturday.

“Sobrang happy kami ni Paulo dahl hindi namin binigo ang mga kababayan natin na talagang nagdasal para sa amin,” added Laylo, who chalked up 3.5 points on two victories against Thailand and Malaysia and three draws against Myanmar, Indonesia, and host Vietnam.

Laylo’s teammate, Paulo Bersamina, posted 2.5 points on one win against Myanmar, three draws against Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam and one loss to Malaysia.

The Filipino duo’s total of six points was good enough for the silver medal against host Vietnam’s 6.5 total.

“Unlike our women’s team na nakapag- bubble training sa PACE (Philippine Academy for Chess Excellence), sa men’s team, nakapag online training lang kami. Kadalasan, individual training,” recalled Laylo, who has already captured two silvers and two bronzes in five SEA Games appearances.

“Fortunately, nagkaroon ng konting training at preparation din kami sa farm ni Cong. Pidi Barzaga sa Dasmariñas, Cavite,” Laylo told the five-man panel composed of veteran sportswriters and bloggers.

The 42-year-old Laylo, who earned his GM title during the Asian Chess Championship in Cebu City in 2007, said he is planning to compete in the Singapore Chess Festival on June 12-19.

He is also set to represent the country in the World Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India on July 28-Aug. 8 and the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur on Aug. 28.

Overall, the Philippines finished third overall with two silvers and three bronzes behind host Vietnam and Indonesia.

Vietnam captured seven of the 10 gold medals at stake, while Indonesia took home the other three golds.

Singapore is tied with the Philippines with two silvers and three bronzes.

The other medal winners for the Philippines are WGM Janelle Mae Frayna and Shania Mae Mendoza, who bagged the silver in the women’s team blitz; Bersamina and IM Daniel Quizon, who pocketed the bronze in the men’s team blitz; Frayna, who earned the bronze in women’s individual blitz; and Frayna and Marie Antoinette San Diego, who took the bronze in the women’s team rapid.