Filipina chessers dominate Sri Lankans, enter semis in Asian Nations online tourney
Filipina chessers dominate Sri Lankans, enter semis in Asian Nations online tourney
Joey Villar ( - October 23, 2020 - 5:34pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines crushed Sri Lanka with a pair of 3.5-.5 victories to advance to the semifinals in the women’s section even as its men’s squad was shown the door by second seed Kazakhstan in the Asian Nations Online Chess Cup Friday.

Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna and Woman International Masters Jan Jodilyn Fronda and Kylen Joy Mordido delivered the wins in the first match while WIM Bernadette Galas conceded the lone draw on board three to T H D Niklesha Tharushi.

Frayna, Fronda and Woman FIDE Master Shania Mae Mendoza then came through with the triumphs in the second duel while it was Mordido’s turn to allow the draw against WIM S D Ranasighe on board four after she failed to cash in on a pawn edge in a bishop and pawn endgame.

The Filipinas, who finished second after the nine-round eliminations, will battle either the Iranians or Indonesia, who split their matches and were battling each other in a blitz playoff at press time.

The Lady Agilas’ win made up for the Filipinos crushing defeat at the hands of the Kazakhs, who avenged their 1.5-2.5 defeat in the elims by sweeping their quarterfinal matches, 4-0 and 3-1.

Coming in theoretically prepared, the Kazakhs blanked the Agilas in the first match on wins by GMs Rinat Jumabayev, Rustam Khusnutdinov and Anuar Ismagambetov and International Master Danis Makhnev over GMs Mark Paragua and Banjo Barcenilla and IMs Paulo Bersamina and Haridas Pascua.

The Filipinos went for a sweep in the decisive match with hopes of forcing a blitz tiebreaker but were turned back by the anew by the Kazakhs in the second duel.

Barcenilla and GM John Paul Gomez halved the point with Khusnutdinov and Makhnev on boards two and four, respectively, while Paragua and Bersamina fell anew to Jumabayev and GM Anuar Ismagambetov on boards one and three.

Paragua had a chance to salvage some measure of pride as Jumabayev blundered in the endgame but the national bullet champion missed the winning line under tremendous time pressure and lost.

But there was nothing to be ashamed about for the Filipinos as a quarterfinals finish is not bad for a team second only seventh out of 38 participants.

Bersamina and Barcenilla also made the country proud by copping the gold and silver on board three and two in the individual board awards.

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