Lady Agilas fall to strong Indonesian side

Published October 24, 2020, 4:32 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

The Philippines dropped a pair of 2.5-1.5 defeats to Southeast Asian powerhouse Indonesia on Saturday to kiss its title bid goodbye in the women’s section of the Asian Nations Online Chess Cup.

The Filipinas were just no match for the second-seeded Indonesians as they could not pull off the same performance they showed in the nine-round eliminations where they surprised everyone by ending up at second out of 38 countries.

Woman International Master Bernadette Galas could not cash in on her chances and succumbed to WIM Chelsie Monica Ignesias Sihite on board three that sent the Lady Agilas reeling to a setback in the first of the two-match semifinals.

Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna and WIMs Jan Jodilyn Fronda and Kylen Joy Mordido all drew their games with IM Irine Sukandar, IM Medina Warda Aulia and WIM Dita Karenza on boards one, two and four.

Frayna and Fronda then yielded to Sukandar and Aulia on the top two boards in their second duel that sealed their doom while sending the Indonesians to the finals possibly against top seed India, which swept Mongolia in the other semis pairing.

It rendered the games by Mendoza and Mordido on the lower boards non-bearing.

Mendoza wound up with a draw with Sihite despite gaining an early positional advantage and a pair of dangerous bishops while Modido, an 18-year-old wonder from Dasmarinas, Cavite, salvaged some measure of pride by downing Karenza.

It was the third loss for the Philippines to Indonesia after the former absorbed yet another 2.5-1.5 loss in the elims.

But the Lady Agilas have nothing to be ashamed of after making it this far despite being seeded only seventh.

Interestingly, they also finished better than their men’s counterpart, who finished second after the elims but absorbed a crushing setback at the hands of the second-seeded Kazakhs in the quarterfinals Friday.