PH women thwart Slovenia, men’s team yields to Greece

Roy Luarca

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PH women thwart Slovenia, men’s team yields to Greece
The Filipinas stun the higher-ranked Slovenians in the Chess Olympiad

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine women’s team sustained its rise while the men’s team stumbled in the eighth round of the 44th Chess Olympiad on Saturday, August 6, in Chennai, India.

The Filipinas bested the higher-ranked Slovenians, 2.5-1.5, behind Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna and Woman International Master Jan Jodilyn Fronda to share 17th to 27th places among 161 teams in the women’s division.

Frayna thwarted IM Laura Umuk while Fronda tamed WIM Zalah Urh for the decisive points as WIM Kylen Joy Mordido drew with WIM Teja Vidic on board 4.

WIM Marie Antoinette San Diego bowed to Lara Janzelj on board 3.

Following their 3.5-0.5 rout of the Bolivians in round 7, the Filipinas climbed to 11 points as against the 15 points of solo leader India and the 14 points of Georgia.

After back-to-back draws against higher-rated Israel and Poland, the Filipinos yielded to the Greeks, 1.5-2.5, and shared 35th to 57 places among 187 teams in the Open division.

New York-based GM Mark Paragua, who shocked 2021 World Cup winner Jan-Krzysztof Duda in round 7, drew with Dimitrios Mastrovasilis on board 1 and so did GM John Paul Gomez and IM Paulo Bersamina against Athanasios Mastrovasilis and Hristos Banikas on board 3 and 4, respectively.

Arizona-based GM Rogelio Barcenillas, however, lost to Nikolaos Theodorou on board 2 as the Filipinos remained at 10 points.

Armenia paces the Open division with 15 points, followed by India 2, which rocked the tournament with a 3-1 conquest of the all-Super GM Team USA.

GM D. Gukesh kept his perfect run at the expense of Fabiano Caruana on board 1 while GM Raunak Sadhwani stunned Leinier Dominguez on board 4.

Levon Aronian and Philippine-born Wesley So were held to draws by Nihal Saril and R. Praggnanandhaa on board 2 and 3.

The Filipinos face the 24th-seeded Georgians in the ninth round on Sunday.

Team captain GM Eugene Torre will be fielding Paragua against GM Baadur Jobava, Gomez against Mikhel Mchellishvili, Laylo against Luka Paichadze, and Bersamina against Levan Pantsulaia.

The Filipinas, captained by GM Jayson Gonzales, will clash with the 12th-ranked Hungarians. Frayna will return against GM Tranh Tranh Hoang and WGM Traa Gara while WFM Shania Mae Mendoza will battle IM Szidonia Lazarne. Mordido takes on WIM Zsoka Gaal on board 4. –

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