Frayna is first PH Woman Chess Grandmaster
IT CAME a month later, but Janelle Mae Frayna finally fulfilled her dream of becoming the Philippines’ first Woman Grandmaster.
Frayna drew with International Master Davaademberel Nomin-Erdene on board one Sunday night to clinch her third and last WGM result even as the Filipino women bowed to the Mongolians, 1.5-2.5, in the ninth round of the 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The 20-year-old Frayna, a senior psychology candidate for cum laude honors at Far Eastern University, amassed the required 6.0 points on four wins, four draws and one loss according to GM Jayson Gonzales, the women’s team captain.
The Filipino women have 11 points that already matched their output in Tromso, Norway, with two rounds to go. The distaff side is being led by the Chinese with 16 points.
The Filipinos clash with the Italians in Monday’s penultimate 10th round.
Informed of Frayna’s feat, National Chess Federation of the Philippines president Rep. Prospero Pichay texted her: “You represented our country well. You make us proud.”
Frayna narrowly missed the WGM title in the World Juniors in India last month where she placed fifth.
WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda’s loss to IM Tubswhintugs Batchimeg on board two sealed the Filipinos’ doom as WIM Catherine Secopito and WFM Shania Mae Mendoza split the point with WGM Aoltan Ulzii Enkhtuul and WIM Uuganbayar Lkhamsuren on boards three and four.
Eugene Torre, Asia’s first GM, also kept his fine form in the event, where he’s been a fixture for 46 years.
The 64-year-old Torre subdued GM Diego Flores as the Philippines salvaged a 2-2 draw with 26th seed Argentina in the Open division.
With seven wins and two draws, Torre has 8 points thus far and is in contention for board three honors.
GM Julio Catalino Sadorra also bested GM Sandro Mareco on board one to compensate for the losses of GM John Paul Gomez and IM Paulo Bersamina to GMs Federico Perez Ponsa and Alan Pichot, respectively.
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