Chess

13-year-old Canino upsets PH Woman Grandmaster Frayna

Lynde Salgados
13-year-old Canino upsets PH Woman Grandmaster Frayna

FIST BUMP. WNM Ruelle Canino (left) and WGM Janelle Mae Frayna bump fists before the start of the opening round matches.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines

Cagayan de Oro teen Tawing Canino stuns the country's only Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna in the the Philippine Women's Chess Championship

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Just days after the victory of teen International Master Daniel Quizon in the national chess championships came another surprise by a 13-year-old Woman National Master from Cagayan de Oro City.

Ruelle “Tawing” Canino sent shockwaves with an upset win over the country’s only Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna on Saturday night, December 18, less than a week after Quizon’s impressive triumph in the 2021 Philippine National Chess Championship as the youngest competitor at 17.

In a dominant endgame position where the gifted lass enjoyed a quality up advantage that would leave her an unmolested two pawns-queening, the 24-year-old Frayna resigned after a marathon 96 moves of the London System-Barry Attack variation in the opener of the Philippine Women’s Chess Championship at PACE building in Quezon City.

“I think we have an upcoming Woman Grandmaster,” GM Jayson Gonzales, chief operating officer of the organizing National Chess Federation of the Philippines, said after the teen Canino stunned the top-seeded Frayna. 

Easily the winningest age-group campaigner with around 15 gold medals to show from international competition, Canino – who enrolled this year as a Grade 8 pupil of the Far Eastern University (FEU)- Fern in Quezon City – faces Woman International Master Marie Antoinette San Diego and Lexie Grace Hernandez next in the first double-header on Sunday, December 19.

“Our training preparation was meant to deal with older rivals. At least, Tawing was able to prove that her middlegame understanding has now improved,” Canino’s coach and trainer Jaime Frias told Rappler. 

“It seems Frayna’s aura before the games start suggests that she’s still exhausted after her participation in the male-dominated Philippine championship in Mactan, Cebu,” added Frias.

WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, the reigning National Women’s champion, dodged the upset axe, defeating the much younger Hernandez in 51 moves of the Caro-Kann defense.

WIM Kylene Joy Mordido crushed WNM Mariel Sadey Rinoa in a 37-mover Sicilian defense.

Other matches were drawn between WIM Bernadette Galas and WNM Francois Marie Magpily as well as San Diego with fellow WIM Shanie Mae Mendoza.

The game between Woman Fide Master Allaney Jia Doroy and Marian Calimbo had been rescheduled after the latter was stranded at the Mactan International Airport in Cebu due to typhoon Odette.

Asia’s first Grandmaster Eugene Torre graced the week-long tourney’s ceremonial rites in the company of GM Gonzales.

A total cash prize of P135,000 and a slot to next year’s Hanoi Southeast Asian Games are at stake in the 12-player round-robin affair with the champion getting  P50,000 and the second and third placers out to receive P30,000 and P15,000, respectively, plus trophies. – Rappler.com