By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna overpowered Marian Calimbo to grab the solo lead after eight rounds in the 2021 National Women’s Chess Championship at the PACE building in Quezon City Wednesday.
The top-seeded Frayna needed just 36 moves of a King’s Indian Defense to secure the victory and improve to 6 points on five wins, two draws and one loss.
Trailing by half a point was third seed Jan Jodilyn Fronda, who split the point with second seed Shania Mae Mendoza after only 16 moves of a Ruy Lopez.
At third with five points apiece were Mendoza, Kylen Joy Mordido and Marie Antoinette San Diego.
Mordido, a WGM candidate, turned back Olympiad veteran Bernadette Galas in 38 moves of a Sicilian Defense, while San Diego halved the point with Francois Magpily in 30 moves of yet another Sicilian duel.
Frayna could put more separation with another win as she was facing the unpredictable Rinoa Mariel Sadey in the ninth round Wednesday night.
Rinoa Sadey smashed Canino’s Pirc Defense in 50 moves to stay in the middle of the pack at sixth with 4.5 points.
The event is backed by PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez, Chess Movement, Inc. Chairman Dr. Ariel Potot, PCSO general manager Royina Garma, Endgame Sports founder Atty. Cris Aspiras, POC President Bambol Tolentino, NCFP President Butch Pichay and Atty. Roel Canobas.