Lady Agilas barge into quarterfinals

Published October 19, 2020, 6:49 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

The Philippines rode on the miraculous victory by Woman International Master Jan Jodilyn Fronda over IM Guliskhan Nakhbayeva on board two in lifting the squad to a stunning 2.5-1.5 win over third seed Kazakhstan for a quarterfinal berth in the Asian Nations Online Chess Cup 2020 on Monday.

Fronda was one piece down in what looked like a hopeless losing position before Nakhbayeva faltered by losing in time to give the Filipinas the much-needed victory.

WIM Bernadette Galas trounced Woman FIDE Master Meruert Kamalidonva on board four while Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna drew with FM Bibisara Assaubayeva on board one to seal the match win.

WFM Shania Mae Mendoza was the lone casualty after succumbing to faltered WGM Gulmira Dauletova on board three.

With the triumph, the Lady Agilas finished with 13 match points for joint second with Iran but clinched the second seeding due to a superior tiebreak score.

They arranged a meeting with No. 7 Sri Lanka in the knockout quarters on Friday.

India, which routed the PH squad in the seventh round, 3-1, lived up to its billing by ruling the nine-round eliminations with 16 points to set up a duel with No. 8 Kyrgyzstan.

No. 3 Iran faces No. 6 Indonesia, while No. 4 Vietnam tackles No. 5 Mongolia.

The stunning final round win came after the Filipinos survived the Mongolians in a 2-2 standoff that was decided by Frayna winning via forfeiture against IM Batkhuyag Munguntuul, who was penalized for violating tournament regulations that video cameras must be turned on all the time.

Fronda bowed to WIM Bayarjargal Bayarmaa while Galas and Mendoza halved the point with WFMs Davaakhu Munkhul and Boldbaatar Altantuya.