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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Battle of Women’s Masters under way

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Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna leads the cast of 12 players eyeing seats to the FIDE World Chess Olympiad-bound team as well as the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games in Sunday’s start of the Philippine National Chess Championships dubbed “The Battle of Women’s Masters” at the City Hall of Malolos, Bulacan.

The top three of this 11-round tournament will clinch berths to the Olympiad set Sept. 10 to 23 in Budapest, Hungary while the champion will represent the country in the AIMAG slated Nov. 21 to Nov. 30 in Bangkok, Thailand, according to NCFP CEO GM Jayson Gonzales.

Women International Masters Marie Antoinette San Diego, Jan Jodilyn Fronda, Bernadette Galas and Kylen Joy Mordido, Women FIDE Masters Shania Mae Mendoza, Cherry Ann Mejia and Allana Jia Doroy, Ruelle Canino, Mhage Gerriahlou Sebastian, April Joy Ramos and Jarel Renz Lacambra are other participants.

Host Malolos City Mayor Atty. Christian Natividad graced the simple opening rites that was also attended by NCFP president/chairman Prospero Pichay, Jr. and national men’s team coach GM Eugene Torre.

Frayna already made history by becoming the first woman to make the men’s team in the Olympiad after her strong performance in the Battle of the GM tilt in Marikina last January.

She has yet to decide whether to play for the men’s team or stay as the top board of the women’s squad though and will make her decision next month.

For now, Frayna is focused on using the event, which staked P85,000 to the champion and P52,000 and P40,000 to the second and third placers, respectively, as part of her Olympiad preparation.

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