Agilas take on Kazakhs, Pinays play Sri Lankans

Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) – October 23, 2020 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — International Master Paulo Bersamina, Grandmaster Banjo Barcenilla and Woman IM Jan Jodilyn Fronda try to prove that their individual board feats were no fluke, looking to sustain their strong showing in the quarterfinals of the Asian Nations Online Chess Cup.

Bersamina and Barcenilla, who copped the gold and silver on boards three and two, respectively, are expected to lead the Pinoys’ bid against the Team Kazakhstan.

Fronda, the bronze medalist on board two, for her part, will try to will the Lady Agilas to the semis against the lower-ranked but dangerous Sri Lankans in the women’s section.

The Philippines has defied the odds in the initial phase of the tourney, with both the men’s and women’s teams finishing second. The Pinoys were second behind Iran and the Pinays runner-up behind top seed India.

GM Mark Paragua is manning the top board despite losing his last two outings, and either GM Jon Paul Gomez or IM Haridas Pascua is to see action on board four for the Agilas of non-playing captain GM Eugene Torre.

For the Filipinas, coach GM Jayson Gonzales, may opt for their top four boards in Fronda, WGM Janelle Mae Frayna, WFM Shania Mae Mendoza and WIM Bernadette Galas.

Or they could choose WIM Kylen Joy Mordido, who has three points out of four, to play on board four in lieu of Mendoza, who also has three points but out of six. That’s in case the former’s laptop problem is fixed.

Against Kazakhstan, the Philippines eked out a 2.5-1.5 win in the eighth round on wins by Bersamina and Pascua on the lower boards and a draw by Barcenilla on board two.

Paragua suffered the team’s lone loss then.

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