Chess Olympiad: PH Women's Team Beats Slovenia; Men's Team Bows to Greece
By Marlon Bernardino
Sun, 07 Aug 2022
The Philippines relied on Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna as it repulsed a higher-rated Slovenia, 2.5-1.5, in the eighth round Saturday night to boost its chances in the 44th World Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India.
Frayna turned what appeared to be a drawish endgame against International Master Laura Unuk into a 66-move win of their English duel after the latter blundered in deep time pressure on board one.
It was all the Filipinas needed to slay the mighty Slovenians and propel the former into a 10-nation tie at 17th spot with 11 match points.
WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda delivered the other win over WIM Zala Urh on second board while WIM Kylen Joy Mordido split the point with WIM Teja Vidic on the fourth and last board to complete the stunning result.
The GM Jayson Gonzales-coached team, which was being backed by the Philippine Sports Commission, was facing a powerhouse Hungary squad in the ninth round at press time hoping for another upset win.
Woman FIDE Master Shania Mae Mendoza was reinserted into the line up in San Diego’s place.
The men’s team, for its part, tried but failed to pull off another upset victory against the fancied Greeks in a 2.5-1.5 loss that was sealed by GM Banjo Barcenilla’s stinging setback to GM Nikolaos Theodorou on board two.
GMs Mark Paragua and John Paul Gomez and IM Paulo Bersamina all drew their games on boards one, three and four, respectively.
It pushed Filipinos into a 22-nation logjam at 35th with 10 points and were squaring off with higher-ranked Georgia in the ninth round in this 11-round, 12-day biennial meet.-Marlon Bernardino-
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Marlon Bernardino.
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