International Master Harridas Pascua took the last slot in the national men’s team seeing action in the 44th World Chess Olympiad later this year.
Pascua earned his seat despite losing his final-round game with IM Daniel Quizon during the Philippine Chess Olympiad Selection playoffs last Wednesday at the PACE Center in Quezon City.
“Pascua has earned his seat in the national team. He may have lost his last game, but, he still made it,” said National Chess Federation of the Philippines executive director Cliburn Orbe.
The 26-year-old Pascua will see action in the Olympiad, which takes place on August 5 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.
“Natalo po ako sa last round. Pero masaya pa rin po ako kasi meron akong ilu-look forward,” said Pascua.
Pascua finished with a fourth point tally of three wins, a draw and a loss.
Grandmaster Darwin Laylo placed second with 3.5 points, followed by IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia in third with 2.5 points and Quizon with two points.
Pascua joins early qualifiers, which is composed GM Rogelio Barcenilla, GM Julio Sadorra, GM John Paul Gomez, and IM Paulo Bersamina.
Orbe, following a meeting with Philippine Sports Commission chairman William Ramirez, said the selection process will now shift to the women’s tryouts this March.
GM Janelle Frayna has already made it with Shania Mendoza and Catherine Secopito.
A playoff for the fourth seat will happen among aspirants Bernadette Galas, Antoinette San Diego, and Joy Mordido.