Frayna seals chess crown
Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Janelle Mae Frayna grounded Shania Mae Mendoza in the 11th and final round on Thursday to rule the 2021 Philippine National Women’s Chess Championship at PACE building in Quezon City.
The top-seeded Frayna outplayed the second-ranked Mendoza in the opening to snatch a pawn edge, seal the win and claim her third national women’s title after reigning supreme in 2013 and 2016.
“It’s been a while since I won here because I focused on competing in the men’s event the past several years,” said the 24-year-old Frayna. “It was a tough field and I’m glad I won,” she added.
But the impressive performance was not without a hitch as Frayna needed to overcome an opening round defeat to 13-year-old wunderkind Ruelle Canino.The loss turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it lit a fire inside Frayna, who scored 7.5 points, highlighted by six victories, to run away with the championship. She also bagged the top purse worth P50,000 and a berth to the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games in May next year.
“She (Canino) is a good player and could be the future of Philippine chess. She beat me, no excuses,” said Frayna.
Frayna ended up finishing a full point ahead of eventual runnerup Kylen Joy Mordido, who is a third and last result away from becoming the country’s second WGM.