Philstar reported last Monday:
Grandmaster Joey Antonio, the reigning national champion, will not be joining the Philippine team bound for the 42nd World Chess Olympiad set Sept. 1-14 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The explanation offered by the NCFP: that GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio, Jr. will be playing in the 2016 World Seniors Championship in November.
Ed Andaya writes in Journal Online:
Conspicuously absent is Battle of GMs national champion Rogelio Antonio, Jr., who reportedly begged off from taking his place in the national team to Baku.
Infiesto said Antonio decided to represent the country in the 2016 World Seniors Championsips in the Czech Republic in November, along with Torre.
If you don’t smell something fishy about these developments, let me point out to you what Antonio posted on his Facebook account just last month:
Which translates to:
Good day! Please excuse me if I have to deactivate my Facebook account in order for me to concentrate and focus on my prepration for the upcoming Olympiad. Thank you for your understanding. God bless to all…
Anyway, upon substitution of GM John Paul Gomez for Antonio, here’s the lineup of the Philippines’ contingents for Baku 2016 Open:
Philippines Team in Baku 2016 Chess Olympiad Open
|GM||Julio Catalino Sadorra||2538|
|GM||John Paul Gomez||2492|
The new average rating is up from 2462 to 2467, but will be the same 52nd seed if there no changes in the composition of the other teams.
When in the Tromso 2014 Chess Olympiad, the Philippines played while enduring the pain from the loss of Wesley So to the US, I hope this time this is not an issue that can demoralize the players.