Frayna is virtual champion in Battle of GMs
MANILA, Philippines – Janelle Mae Frayna has virtually clinched the title in the women’s division of the 2013 Battle of the Grand Masters (GMs) chess championships with just one round left at the Philippine Sports Commission in Vito Cruz, Manila.
Frayna defeated Villa Mae Cabrera to seal her first national title and the top purse of P50,000. She prevailed after 27 moves of Alkhine defense using the black pieces to raise her total to 31.5 points in the 13-round tournament.
With four victories in the first six rounds, Frayna now has an insurmountable six-point lead over defending champion International Master (IM) Catherine Perena and Jean Karen Enriquez.
Perena drew with Fide Master (FM) Cherry Ann Mejia after 30 moves of Queens Gambit Accepted, while Enriquez upset IM Beverly Mendoza after 64 moves of French defense.
With the setback, Mejia remains 24.0 points, good for the fourth spot.
Mejia climbed to fifth to sixth places with 19.5 points, the same output of National Master (NM) Jedara Docena, who was beaten by Arvie Lozano after 35 moves of Caro-Kann defense.
Lozano, Lucelle Bermundo, IM Bernadette Galas and FM Shania Mae Mendoza are in joint seventh position with 16.5 points each.
FM Mendoza defeated Bermundo after 50 moves of Queens Pawn Game, while Galas lost to Gladys Hazelle Romeo after 53 moves of Sicilian defense.
In the men’s division, GMs John Paul Gomez and Oliver Barbosa battled to a draw after 36 moves of Ruy Lopez Opening.
Gomez has 28.5 points, 1.5 points ahead over Barbosa, who has 27.0 points.
GM Darwin Laylo, meanwhile, defeated IM Joel Pimentel after 38 moves of Gruenfeld defense to climb to solo third place with 25.0 points.
Twelve-time National Open champion GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. split the point with GM Richard Bitoon after 21 moves of Sicilian defense to occupy solo fourth place with 24.0 points.
The 13th and final round will get underway on Monday with an Open blitz side event Monday afternoon, followed by the awarding ceremonies. – by Marlon Bernardino