44th World Chess Olympiad: Pinays shine, Pinoy woodpushers succumb

44th World Chess Olympiad: Pinays shine, Pinoy woodpushers succumb

By Cip D.C. Cabrera

Filipina Women Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna (Mindanao Gold Star Daily)

CHENNAI, INDIA — Once again, it was the distaff side that saved the day for Team PH by scoring another victory over a higher-rated Slovenian team, 2.5-1.5, behind Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Janelle Mae Frayna’s splendid show in the eighth round of the 44th World Chess Olympiad at the Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort and Convention Center in Chennai in Tamil Nadu, India.

Unperturbed by her opponent’s higher ELO rating, the gutsy WGM from Legazpi City converted a drawish endgame against Women International Master (WIM) Laura Unuk (ELO 2350) into a 66-move victory in their English Opening duel after the Slovenian blundered in deep time pressure on board one.
It was all the Pinay team needed to slay the mighty Slovenians and propel the Philippines’ distaff side into a 10-nation tie at 17th spot with 11 match points.

WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda (ELO 2181) delivered the other win over WIM Zala Urh (ELO 2262) on board two while WIM Kylen Joy Mordido (ELO 2023) halved the point with WIM Teja Vidic (ELO 2099) on the fourth board to complete the stunning win for the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the men’s chess team, for all its worth, tried but failed to pull off another upset against the highly fancied Greeks, absorbing a 2.5-1.5 loss that was sealed by GM Banjo Barcenilla’s (ELO 2463) stinging loss to GM Nikolaos Theodorou (ELO 2575) on board two.

GMs Mark Paragua (ELO 2430) and John Paul Gomez (ELO 2451) and IM Paulo Bersamina (ELO 2429) all wound up with identical draws on boards one, three, and four, respectively.

The Pinoys’ unfortunate defeat, which came after their historic win over Sweden and a deadlock with the vaunted Polish team, pushed them down to a 22-nation logjam at 35th place with 10 points. (ai/mtvn)

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