Final standings after nine rounds:
16 points — India
13 –Philippines, Iran
12 — Vietnam, Mongolia, Indonesia
11 — Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan
10 –Australia, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Jordan, Singapore, Syria.
THE Philippines did it again.
National women’s champion WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda and WIM Bernadette Galas provided the all-important victories as the Philippines edged Kazakhstan, 2.5-1.5, to clinch the No. 2 seed in the Asian Nations Chess Cup 2020 women’s chess championship on Monday.
Fronda outduelled IM Guliskhan Nakhbayeva in the second board while Galas crushed WFM Meruert Kamalidenova on board four in a pair of inspiring victories that enabled the seventh-seeded Filipinas to finish second overall with 13 points.
Top seed India subdued Vietnam,2.5-1.5, to clinch the top spot with 16 points.
The Philippines finished in a tie with Iran with the same match points, but earned No. 2 seed on higher tiebreak.
The Filipinas had 25 against 23.5 of the Iranians. As the No.2 seed, the Philippines will face No. 7 seed Sri Lanka in the quarterfinal.
“Heroic defense by 2019 national champion Jan Jodilyn Fronda and a win by Bernadette Galas gave the Philippines a 2.5-1.5 triumph over Kazakhstan in the last round of the Asian Nations Cup,” wrote veteran chess journalist Ignacio Dee in his Facebook post.
“When did the Philippines send the men’s and women’s team at such a lofty post in Asian team play? Are we seeing, at last, the Philippines getting back on track to competing against the best in Asia?” added Dee.
Before the victory over Kazakhstan, the Philippines dropped a 1-3 decision to India in the seventh round, and battled Mongolia to a 2-2 draw in the eighth and penultimate round.
Galas emerged as the top performers for the Philippines with seven points on six wins, two draws and only one loss.
WGM Janelle Mae Frayna was second with 6.5/9 on five wins,three draws and one loss, while Fronda was third with 5.5/8 on five wins, one draw and two losses.
In the men’s division, the Philippines will also play Kazakhstan in a thrilling quarterfinal showdown on Friday, Oct. 23.
It will be a rematch for the Filipinos and the Kazakhs, who battled in the eighth round last Oct. 18.
The GM Eugene Torre-coached Filipino team upset the higher-rated Kazakhstan, 2.5-1.5, on victories by IM Paulo Bersamina over GM Murtas Kazhgaleyev and IM Haridas Pascua over IM Denis Makhnev.
The victories by Bersamina and Pascua cushioned the impact of the loss of GM Mark Paragua at the hands of GM Rinat Jumabayev at the top board.
GM Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr. and GM Rustam Khusnutdinov battled to a draw on board two.
The other men’s quarterfinal pairings pit No. 1 Iran against No. 8 Singapore, No. 3 Mongolia against No. 6 India, and No. 4
Australia against No. 5 India.
S. Mendoza (PH) vs. R. Padmini ( India) 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3 Nf6 4.d3 Nc6 5.g3 d5 6.e5 Nd7 7.d4 b6 8.Bd3 cxd4 9.cxd4 Nb4 10.Be2 Ba6 11.Nc3 Bxe2 12.Qxe2 Be7 13.h4 a6 14.Kf1 O-O 15.Kg2 b5 16.Bg5 Nb6 17.Rac1 Rc8 18.a3 Nc6 19.b3 h6 20.Bxe7 Qxe7 21.a4 Qb4 22.axb5 Nxd4 23.Nxd4 Qxd4 24.Rhd1 Qb4 25.Na4 Rxc1 26.Rxc1 Nxa4 27.bxa4 axb5 28.axb5 Rb8 29.Qd3 Qb2 30.Rb1 Qxe5 31.f3 Rb6 32.Qc2 g6 33.Qc5 Qe2+ 34.Kh3 Rb8 35.f4 Qe4 36.Rc1 Qd3 37.b6 Qb3 38.Qc7 Qxb6 39.Qe5 Rf8 40.h5 f6 41.Qe2 Kg7 42.hxg6 f5 43.Qe5+ Kxg6 44.Rc7 Rf7 45.Rc8 Rf6 46.Rh8 Qa6 47.Rxh6+ Kxh6 48.Qxf6+ Kh7 49.Qf7+ Kh6 50.Qf6+ Kh7 51.Kh4 Qe2 52.Qf7+ Kh6 53.Qf6+ Kh7 54.Qf7+ Kh6 55.Qf6+ Kh7 1/2-1/2