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Frayna beats Mendoza, bags national title for 3rd time

Janelle Frayna
WGM Janelle Mae Frayna

By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA

Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna outplayed Shania Mae Mendoza in the 11th and final round to capture the National Women’s Chess Championship title at the PACE building in Quezon City Thursday night.

The top-seeded Frayna bested the second-ranked Mendoza in 43 moves of a King’s Indian Attack to crown herself queen of Philippine chess for the third time.

Her previous victories came in 2013 and 2016.

“It’s been a while since I won here because I focused on competing in the men’s event the past several years,” said Frayna, 24. 

“It was a tough field and I’m glad I won.

Her impressive feat came without challenges after being derailed at the start of the tournament with an opening-round loss to 13-year-old sensation Ruelle Canino.

The defeat proved to be a wake up call for Frayna, who plowed through the field by scoring 7.5 points highlighted by six victories since then to seal the crown.

And thanks to her feat, she went home pocketing P50,000 and claiming a seat to the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games in May next year. 

“It was a wake up call,” said Frayna.

Kylen Joy Mordido, who needs to earn the last of the three norms required to become the country’s second WGM next to Frayna, drew with Marian Calimbo in 34 moves to finish second with 6.5 points.

Mendoza tied with Jan Jodilyn Fronda after a last-round draw with Marie Antoinette San Diego for identical six points, but clinched the third spot after tiebreaks were applied.

Rounding up the finishers were San Diego, Bernadette Galas, Rinoa Mariel Sadey, Allaney Jia Doroy, Canino, Lexie Grace Hernandez and Marian Calimbo.

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Written by Tempo Desk

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