Reigning world chess champion for the differently-abled Sander Severino will spearhead the Philippine team when it plunges into action in the FIDE Online Olympiad for People with Disabilities on Nov. 20 to Dec. 3.

Severino, 35, will man the top board for a team that also consists of Henry Lopez, Jasper Rom, Darry Bernardo and Cheyzer Crystal Mendoza in a tournament that allows four games of three open section slots and a woman.

The Filipinos are seeded seventh out of 61 countries – thanks to Severino, who is the fifth highest rated among the 150 participants with a rating of 2364.

Lopez and Rom are expected to give Severino ample support after being part of the team that harvested gold medals in the 2017 ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Bernardo and Mendoza, meanwhile, will debut for the squad headed by non-playing captain James Infiesto but are equally capable of producing the wins.

Bernardo is currently a Far Eastern University standout, while Mendoza is a former UAAP silver medalist and University of the Philippines mainstay.

The Filipinos will have their hands full against a strong field headed by the powerhouse Russians, who fielded in two squads that are seeded first and sixth, respectively.

Other nations ranked higher than the Filipinos are Poland, Israel, Cuba and Germany.

The Philippines also has a second squad composed of Menandro Redor, Arman Subaste, Felix Aguilera, Max Dave Tellor, Israel Peligro and Cheryl Angot with Roel Abelgas as non-playing skipper.


Source: Manila Bulletin (