Friday, September 21, 2012


Palau finally won a match by defeating U. S. Virgin Islands 2.5 - 1.5 from 2 wins from Menandro Manuel and Bernardo Garcia and a draw between Roberto Hernandez, left, and Jorge Massana, who has a higher FIDE rating of 2186 to Roberto's 1875. As usual, Elizabeth Manuel suffered another loss but lasted 22 moves this time.
(Photo by Roberto Hernandez)


PALAU Chess Team finally met their matches in terms of strength when they defeated the All-American U. S. Virgin Islands team on the 5th round of the 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey.

Menandro Manuel easily disposed M. Smith at Board 4 but his wife Elizabeth suffered another loss but lasted 22 moves this time after Roberto Hernandez, Board 1, taught him how to build a fortress so that she can last longer with cautious play and might even offer a draw after playing her 30th move.

Hernandez needed 46 moves before his opponent, Jorge Massana, offered a draw which he readily accepted. Their game is a cautious style and dont' rushes the moves. Hernandez even walk to see the top board matches that features Russia, Ukraine, USA, England, India, Hungary and others in the top 10 before going back to his game when Jorge just made his move.

Now, the load to get Palau's first match win rely on Bernard Garcia, who scored Palau's first half point in the 4th round.

Their marathon match lasted 71 moves where his opponent only had 2 minutes left in his clock and blundered when his check was interfered with a check and the h pawn can't be prevented for promotion.

Papua New Guinea got their first match win also with a sweep of Burundi, who has only 2 players. Rupert Jones and Helmut Marko easily won their matches.

There are some questions about letting Burundi played with only 2 players where in 2010 World Chess Olympiad in Russia, the Palau team composed of Roberto Hernandez and Tito Cabunagan were not allowed to play because there only 2 of them.

The reason they are allowed (Burundi team) is that they talked to FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to allow them to play because they spent a lot of money to go to Istanbul. Kirsan allowed them.

In Palau's team case, they didn't know that they need to talk to Kirsan to be allowed to play. Even though if they talk to him, he might not allow Roberto and Tito to play because Palau voted for Karpov during the election held in Russia for FIDE presidency.

Bernard Garcia asked for a photo with GM Eugene Torre to show to his father, who's idol is Eugene.

Jorge Massana vs. Roberto Hernandez Draw
William Van Rensselaer vs. Elizabeth Manuel 1-0
Anthony Mongiello vs. Bernardo Garcia 0-1
Michael Smith vs. Menandro Manuel 0-1

Solo of Bernard before his game, a win that clinches Palau's first match win. 71 moves!

Elizabeth Manuel's turn.

Before every game, Roberto Hernandez leads a short prayer for the Palau's Chess Team success just a few meters away from where he stands.

In the 4th and 5th round, Menandro Manuel didn't join in the prayer. He's not feeling well.

A shot of all players except Roberto who is taking the photo.

Top 2 boards of U.S. Virgin Islands team.

Board 3 and 4 of US Virgin Islands and their lady president (chess federation).

Complete line-up except Roberto who's taking the picture.

Gawain Jones just made a move. Pentala Harikrishna of India's turn. GM Nigel Short is pondering his next move against a strong Indian GM.

Hungary's team on the right side, with GM Judith Polgar (FIDE rating 2698) playing in the Open division as always. She drew this game.

Another shot at team Hungary (back view).

Top board for women (SEXY DIVISION!)

Table 2 for women (WHATEVER DIVISION)
English team --Michael Adams, Gawain Jones (not seated), Nigel Short and David Howell. Former World Champion Veselin Topalov watches the board 4.

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