WGM Frayna keys Filipinas upset win over Slovenians

THE Philippines relied on Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Janelle Mae Frayna in beating higher-rated Slovenia, 2.5-1.5, in the eighth round Saturday night and to boost its chances in the 44th World Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India.

Frayna turned a drawish endgame with International Master (IM) Laura Unuk into a 66-move victory of an English duel after the Slovenian blundered in deep time pressure on Board 1.

It was all the Filipinas needed to slay the Slovenians and propel themselves to a share of 17th place with nine other countries on 11 match points.

Woman IM (WIM) Jan Jodilyn Fronda also beat WIM Zala Urh on the second board while WIM Kylen Joy Mordido drew with WIM Teja Vidic on the fourth board to complete the stunning result.

The GM Jayson Gonzales-coached team, backed by the Philippine Sports Commission, faced powerhouse Hungary in the ninth round on Sunday.

Woman FIDE Master Shania Mae Mendoza was reinserted into the lineup for Maria Antoinette San Diego.

The men’s team, on the other hand, failed to pull off another upset victory against fancied Greece  and absorbed a 2.5-1.5 loss with Rogelio Barcenilla Jr. losing to fellow GM Nikolaos Theodorou on Board 2.

GMs Mark Paragua and John Paul Gomez and IM Paulo Bersamina all drew their matches in the round that saw the Philippines dropping into a t22-nation tie at 35th place with 10 points.

The men’s team faced higher-ranked Georgia in the ninth of the 11-round, 12-day Olympiad on Sunday.