By Kristel Satumbaga
Philippine women’s chess has blossomed over the years thanks to the emergence of several titled players including Janelle Mae Frayna, the country’s first Woman Grandmaster.
And its gains will not be wasted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as the United Queens Chess Club (UQCC) has gone online by holding programs to give local female woodpushers a virtual venue to hone their skills.
Formed recently by a group of female chess players headed by La Salle coach Susan Neri, the club actually held a series of chess simul where a guest master simultaneously plays against a group of local players.
Some of the known chess players the UQCC has invited and played were GMs Baadur Jobava of Georgia, Diego Flores of Argentina, Alexander Dochenko of Germany, Jacob Aagaard of Scotland, David Howell of England, Rauf Mamedov of Azerbaijan, Aryan Tari of Norway, Viacheslav Tilicheev of Russia, Nino Batsiashvili of Georgia, Kayden Troff of the United States and US-based Filipino Oliver Barbosa.
Apart from the chess simul, the club has also organized a charity tournament dubbed Lichess Quarantine Series in partnership with SPEC Entertainment.
UQCC Vice President and Woman FIDE Master Cherry Ann Mejia said they formed the group to keep the women’s chess program in the country alive amid the global health crisis.