Pinoy chess players hopeful of chances in World Cup

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  • All four Philippine representatives to the 2021 Chess World Cup look to make the right moves in the prestigious event, scheduled for July 10 to August 3 in Sochi, Russia.
    “Although we’re underdogs, I’m still confident of our chances,” said Janelle Mae Frayna, the country’s first female Grandmaster, during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
    Frayna, 24, will be the first female player to represent the Philippines in the event, which is also part of the selection process for the World Championship. She hopes her maiden stint in the World Cup will be a memorable one.
    “The first match is very important given that we are against players ranked higher than all of us,” said Frayna, who has drawn Hungarian Hoang Tranh Trang, originally from Vietnam and now ranked No. 54 in the world, for the first round.
    Hindi ako natatakot sa kanya kasi I had good chances even though I lost when we played in the 2018 Olympiad,” said Frayna of her opponent, who has a rating of 2404.
    Also vying in the event are 16-year-old Daniel Quizon, 15-year-old Michael Concio Jr., and 22-year-old GM hopeful Paulo Bersamina. They are also making their first appearances in the World Cup.
    Quizon and Concio, who made it to the event following a strong 1-2 in the Asian Zonal 3.3 qualifier, are eyeing their GM norms, while Bersamina, who was nominated by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines like Frayna, is just 38 points away from a GM title.
    “I’ll probably need to win seven games in the World Cup but I know it will be difficult,” said Bersamina, who has an ELO rating of 2462.
    “They say he’s a future world champion. Tinalo ko na siya nung 11 years old pa lang siya at mataas pa ang rating ko,” said Bersamina.
    GM Jayson Gonzales, chief executive officer of the Philippine Chess Federation, said things are in place for their long and costly trip to Russia, adding that the four players have undergone extensive training against the country’s Chess Olympiad veterans. (abs-cbn)

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