Female chess player continues conquest of top men at Battle of the Grandmasters

FEU student Janelle Mae Frayna became the first woman to defeat a grandmaster at a Philippine chess event and will soon become the country’s newest woman international master

Ignacio Dee
Published 8:52 PM, Jun 22, 2014
Updated 9:07 PM, Jun 22, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – After upsetting a grandmaster Saturday evening, a 17-year-old college student defeated an international master Sunday afternoon in the fourth round of the Battle of the Grandmasters at the Philippine Sports Commission Athletes Dining Hall.
Janelle Mae Frayna trounced International Master Joel Pimentel in a rousing follow-up to her conquest of Grandmaster Richard Bitoon in the second round.

Frayna, who is majoring in psychology at Far Eastern University, has six points from two wins, tying her with the legendary Eugene Torre, 16-year-old Paulo Bersamina, Grandmaster John Paul Gomez and International Master Jan Emmanuel Garcia.

The first woman to qualify for the men’s division of this event by being among the top six semifinalists, Frayna did not disappoint her backers in the National Chess Federation of the Philippines when she trounced the veteran Bitoon in 50 moves of a Hedgehog Opening.

The Legazpi City resident Frayna was about to force checkmate on the former chess Olympian when Bitoon gave up. This is the first time a woman defeated a grandmaster in a Philippine chess event, chess sources said.

Frayna, along with Jodilyn Fronda, will soon become the country’s newest woman international master, a rung below grandmaster level, after winning her division in the recent Asean age group in Macau.

“I am so happy. I defeated three women grandmasters last year but this achievement is different since I beat a male grandmaster. I am on cloud 9,” said Frayna, 19, an incoming psychology junior at Far Eastern University, in a text message to Rappler.

…. The federation, already beset by the impending transfer of top player Wesley So to the US, decided to award several slots to chess players for the Olympiad.

Frayna and top female woodpusher Cheradee Camacho, who is back from the US, along with Fronda have been given slots for the women’s team.

Ino Sadorra, another US-based grandmaster and Oliver Barbosa, were given free berths to the men’s team. It is unsure whether Barbosa, who left for the US to play in several tournaments last month, will play for the country in Norway. – Rappler.com

Full article here.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
Tags: , , ,