IT'S women power for the Philippines in the 43rd World Chess Olympiad.
With the men’s team absorbing a 1-3 defeat to No.18 Croatia, the Philippines turned to the women’s team for feel-good moments in the third round at the Batumi Sports Palace in Georgia.
WGM Janelle Mae Frayna subdued IM Sarai Sanchez Castillo on board one and WIM Bernadette Galas outwitted WFM Marvia Arcila on board four in the Filipinas' smashing 3-1 win over No. 55 Venezuela.
WIM Catherine Secopito split the point with WIM Tairu Rovira Contreras and WFM Shania Mae Mendoza halved the point with WFM Corals Garcia to complete the win for the GM Jayson Gonzales-coached Filipinas, who are hoping to improve their 34th place finish in Baku, Azerbaijan two years ago.
Overall, the 43rd-seeded Filipinas are tied for 24th place with four points following a 4-0 win over Mozambique in the first round and 1.5-2.5 loss to Slovenia in the second round.
The Filipinas' fourth-round opponent is Slovakia.
The strong performances by Frayna, who is now 3/3, and Galas did not escape the attention of local chess experts.
“Whatever bugged Frayna's form in Europe and Malaysia is gone. She is technically accurate in exploiting this win (against Sanchez Castillo),” commented veteran chess writer Ignacio Dee in popular Facebook group Chess Philippines.
In the men’s division, United States-based GM Julio Catalino Sadorra and GM John Paul Gomez settled for draws with GM Ivan Saric and Marin Bosiocic as the Filipinos stumbled to their first loss in three rounds.
Sadorra mishandled a winning middle game and allowed Saric, who defeated world champion Magnus Carlsen in the2014 Olympiad, to find the right moves to force a perpetual in their Reti encounter.
The biggest losers were IMs Jan Emmanuel Garcia and Haridas Pascua, who yielded to GM Ante Brkic and GM Sada Martinovic, respectively.
They will clash with Estonia next.
Supporting the 10-man Filipino delegation are the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), headed by Chairman William “Butch" Ramirez, and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), led by president Rep. Prospero “Butch” Pichay and secretary-general Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.
Sanchez Castillo vs. Frayna:
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. Bd3 Bxd3 9. Qxd3 Ngf6 10. Bd2 e6 11. O-O-O Be7 12. Kb1 O-O 13. Ng5 c5 14. Nh5 cxd4 15. Rh3 Qb6 16. Rg3 Qa6 17. Nxf6+ Nxf6 18. Ne4 Qxd3 19. cxd3 Nh5 20. Rh3 f5 21. Ng3 Nxg3 22. fxg3 e5 23. Rhh1 Bd6 24. Rhe1 Rae8 25. g4 fxg4 26. Re4 h5 27. Bg5 Rf2 28. Rde1 Rc8 29. R4e2 Rxe2 30. Rxe2 Kf7 31. a3 Ke6 32. Ka2 Kd5 33. Kb3 Rf8 34. Bd2 Be7 35. Be1 g5 36. hxg5 Bxg5 37. Bb4 Rf1 38. Rc2 Rc1 39. Rf2 Bf4 40. g3 Bxg3 41. Rf8 h4 42. Rd8+ Ke6 43. Rd6+ Kf7 44. Rd7+ Kg6 45. Bf8 h3
B. Galas-M. Alvarado Arcila:
1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. c4 Nb6 4. d4 d6 5. exd6 exd6 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. Ne2 g6 8. Nbc3 Bg7 9. Be3 O-O 10. b3 Re8 11. O-O Bg4 12. Qd2 d5 13. c5 Nc8 14. Rac1 N8e7 15. Rfe1 Qd7 16. a3 Bf5 17. Bb5 a6 18. Ba4 Be6 19. Bh6 Bh8 20. b4 Nf5 21. Bf4 Qe7 22. Ng3 Qd7 23. Nxf5 Bxf5 24. Be5 Bxe5 25. dxe5 Rad8 26. Rcd1 Be6 27. Qf4 Qe7 28. h4 h5 29. Rd3 Kh7 30. Bb3 d4 31. Ne4 Bxb3 32. Nf6+ Kg7 33. Nxe8+ Rxe8 34. Rxb3 Qe6 35. Qf6+ Kg8 36. Qxe6 Rxe6 37. Kf1 Kf8 38. b5 axb5 39. Rxb5 Nd8 40. Rd1 Rxe5 41. Rxd4 Ne6 42. Rc4 b6 43. cxb6 Rxb5 44. bxc7 Nxc7 45. Rxc7 Rb3 46. Ra7 Rb2 47. a4 Ra2 48. a5 Ke8 49. g3 Kf8 50. Kg2 Ra3 51. Kf1 Ra2 52. Ra8+ Ke7 53. a6 Kd7 54. a7 Ke7 55. Ke1 Kf6 56. Kd1 Ke7 57. Kc1 Kf6 58. Kb1 Ra6 59. Kb2 Ke7 60. Kc3 Ra4 61. Kb3 Ra1 62. f3 Ra6 63. g4 Ra1 64. Kc4 Ra5 65. g5 Ra1 66. f4 Ra4+ 67. Kb3 Ra6 68. f5 gxf5 69. g6 fxg6 70. Rg8 Rxa7 71. Rg7+ Kf6 72. Rxa7 f4 73. Kc3 Kf5 74. Kd3 Kg4 75. Rg7 Kxh4 76. Rxg6 Kh3 77. Ke4 h4 78. Kf3 Kh2 79. Rh6