PH chess team faces early exit in Sochi

Janelle Mae Frayna

Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna and International Masters Daniel Quizon, Michael Concio, Jr. and Paulo Bersamina suffered stinging defeats that pushed them on the brink of elimination at the start of the Chess World Cup in Sochi, Russia Monday night.

Frayna blew away her drawing chances and fell to Hungarian Hoang Tranh Trang in 49 moves of a Queen’s Pawn duel that spoiled her debut.

Quizon, for his part, absorbed a 53-move defeat at the hands of Canada’s Evgeny Bareev in 33 moves of a Slav Defense while Concio succumbed to India’s Chitambaram Aravindh in 33 moves of an English Opening.

Bersamina got a whipping at the hands of 15-year-old Indian GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa in 48 moves of a Sicilian duel.

All four would need a win in the last of their two-game showdown Tuesday night to force a two-game tiebreaker set Wednesday in the tournament that drew participation from more than 300 athletes in the Open and Women’s Division.

Anything less than a win would send the Filipinos packing.

Each round will be played in two games using a time control of 90 minutes in the first 40 moves and an extra 30 to finish with a 30-second increment from the first move.

If it goes to the tiebreak, they will play two games with 25-minute, 10-second increment time control.

Coaches Jayson Gonzales, Darwin Laylo and Ruel Abelgas accompany the PH team.