WIM Shania Mae Mendoza

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Bobby Ang

Chess Piece

19th ASEAN Age Group
Championships Girls Under-20
Davao City, Philippines
June 19-24

1. WFM Shania Mae Mendoza PHI 2114, 7.5/9

2-3. WFM Dita Karenza INA 1942, Ella Grace Moulic PHI 1829, 6.5/9

4. WCM Kylen Joy Mordido PHI 1863, 6.0/9

5-8. Marifel dela Torre PHI 1677, WIM Nguyen Thanh Thuy Tien VIE 2011, WFM Vu Thi Dieu Ai VIE 1829, WFM Nguyen Thi Minh Oanh VIE 1882, 5.0/9

9. Viona Nepascua PHI, 4.5/9

10. Vo Thu Thuy Tien VIE 1789, 4.0/9

11-12. Zsuzsa Grace Tabudlong PHI 1649, Laila Camel Nadera PHI 1715, 3.0/9

13. Jearaine Chato PHI 2.0/9

14. Vebien Rafales PHI, 0.0/9

Time Control: 90 minutes for the entire game with 30 seconds added after every move starting move 1.

Shania Mae Mendoza
WIM Shania Mae Mendoza

June has been a great month for Ms. Shania Mae Mendoza. She won the Philippine Women’s Championship in Alphaland Makati, and then enplaned for Davao where she won the ASEAN Under-20 Championship. This brought with it the automatic Woman International Master (WIM) title as well as a Woman International Grandmaster (WGM) title norm. Two more norms and she will get the full WGM title.

The Philippines does not have a whole lot of titled women players. So far, there are:

Woman Grandmaster (WGM): Janelle Mae Frayna

Woman International Master (WIM): Jan Jodilyn Fronda, Chardine Cheradee Camacho, Girme Fontanilla, Bernadette Galas, Cristine Rose Mariano-Wagman, Beverly Mendoza, Marie Antoinette San Diego, Catherine Secopito, Mikee Charlene Suede

Woman FIDE Master (WFM): Shercila Cua, Sherily Cua, Allaney Jia Doroy, Rulp Ylem Jose, Sheerie Joy Lomibao, Cherry Ann Mejia, Shania Mae Mendoza, Samantha Glo Revita, Michelle Yaon

Woman Candidate Master (WCM): Christy Lamiel Bernales, Mira Mirano, Kylen Joy Mordido.

We can now happily remove Shania’s name from the list of WFM and add her to the rolls of the Woman International Masters. This still has to be confirmed in the next FIDE Assembly but there is no problem here as it is an automatic title awarded to the ASEAN Under-20 Champion.

Also, lest we forget, Indonesia’s Dita Karenza and Davao native Ella Grace Moulic tied for second and were both awarded the silver medals, automatically making the La Salle 4th board Ella Grace Moulic a Woman FIDE Master (WFM).

Ms. Shania Mae sent me two games with her notes. I am delighted to share them with BW readers.

Mendoza, Shania Mae (2114) — Moulic, Ella Grace (1829) [B12]
ASEAN ch Under-20 girls Davao City (4), 21.06.2018
[Shania Mae Mendoza]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5

In previous games I had a hard time dealing with 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Qc7 so this time I chose to change my preferred line.

3…Bf5 4.h4 h6

Some people prefer to play 4…h5 here. On the one hand it stops White’s pawn offensive on the kingside. On the other hand though it weakens the g5–square and the h5–pawn may become a weakness. I guess it is a matter of taste whether Black chooses to move the h-pawn to h6 or h5.

5.g4 Bd7 6.h5

I was inspired by Caruana’s move in his game against GM Erwin L’Ami. 6.h5 prevents the possibility of black to play h5 and to have an outpost on f5 for his knight.

The variation 6.Nc3 e6 7.Be3 c5 8.f4 Nc6 9.Nf3 was the line that I previously played.

6…e6 7.f4 c5 8.c3 Nc6

The Caruana game continued 8…Qb6 9.Nf3 Bb5 10.Bxb5+ Qxb5 11.Na3 Qb6 12.Qa4+ Nc6 13.Nc2 cxd4 14.cxd4 Qa5+ (this is probably a mistake. Black should keep queens on the board as the White King is exposed) 15.Qxa5 Nxa5 16.Ke2 Ne7 17.b3 Rc8 18.Kd3 White went on to dominate the board on both sides and bring home a nice win. Caruana,F (2781)-L’Ami,E (2627) Wijk aan Zee 2013 1–0 53.

9.Nf3 Qc7?!

I prefer 9…Qb6 instead of 9 …Qc7 because it only helps White’s development. 10.Rh2 cxd4 11.cxd4 Bb4+ 12.Nc3 Nge7 13.a3 Bxc3+ 14.bxc3 Na5 followed by Rc8.

10.Be3 Qb6 11.b3

[11.Rh2 is also possible]

11…cxd4 12.cxd4 Rc8 13.Rh2 Bb4+ 14.Kf2 Na5 15.Kg1 Bc3

[15…Bb5 16.Bxb5+ (or 16.Rg2) 16…Qxb5 17.Rc2 White is better]

16.Nxc3 Rxc3

White is better in this position because of the lead of development and space advantage of white.

17.Qe1 Rc8 18.Rf2 Ne7 19.Bd3 Nac6 20.Rd1

My plan is to play Bb1, Nh4 and f4–f5 to open up the position in the kingside and exploit Black’s weaknesses.


Ella Grace sees the gathering storm in the kingside and decides to transfer her king to the queenside.

21.Bd2 <D>



After 21…Nxd4 there is a nice trick: 22.Nxd4 (22.Ba5?? does not work because of 22…Nxf3+ 23.Kf1 Nxe1 24.Bxb6+ axb6 25.Rxe1 Black has an extra knight and pawn) 22…Qxd4 23.Ba6! Qc5 (23…Qb6?? 24.Ba5) 24.Bxb7 Rb8 25.Ba6 White has grabbed a clean pawn.


It turns out that the Black King is not safe either on the queenside!


[22…Nxd4?? 23.Nxd4 Qxd4 24.Be3+– the queen is trapped]


I didn’t want to risk anything but when I got back to my quarters I analyzed 23.b5! Nxd4 24.Nxd4 Qxd4 25.Bb4 Rhe8 26.a4 and White’s position is very strong.


She shouldn’t have allowed me to play a2–a4 without any resistance. The move 23…Nd8 would have kept on fighting.

24.a4 Na7 25.b5 axb5 26.Ba5 Qa6 27.Bb4 Rc4

No choice. 27…Nec6 28.Bd6+ Ka8 (28…Rc7 29.axb5 Nxb5 30.Ra1 Qb6 31.Bc5 wins the queen just the same) 29.axb5 Nxb5 30.Ra1 wins Black’s queen.

28.axb5 Bxb5 29.Bxc4 dxc4 30.Bxe7

The game is already ripe for resignation.

30…Nc8 31.Bb4 Qc6 32.Ra1 Ba4 33.Bc5 b5 34.Qa5 Qb7 35.Kg2 Na7 36.Qc3 Kc8 37.Rb2 Qa6 38.Bxa7 Qxa7 39.Rxb5 1–0

Karenza, Dita (1942) — Mendoza, Shania Mae (2114) [C56]
ASEAN ch Under-20 girls Davao City (3), 20.06.2018
[Shania Mae Mendoza]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4

I didn’t expect this. 4.Nxd4 was the move that she always plays after which the game can go 4…Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 (Word of warning, I have seen people play the move order 8.Nd2 first before 9.c4. This is inaccurate because of 8.Nd2 g6 9.c4 Nf4! this move is possible because White’s knight is on d2. 10.Qe3 Bh6 11.Qc3 Bg7 12.Nf3 Ne6 13.Bd3 f6 Black is better) 8…Nb6 9.Nc3 Ba6 intending to follow up with Qe6, Bb4 and d7–d5. According to the Greek openings expert Nikolaos Ntirlis (“Playing 1.e4 e5”) this line is the main reason why elite players’ enthusiasm for the Scotch has stalled.

4…Nf6 5.e5 d5 6.Bb5 Ne4 7.Nxd4 Bc5 8.0–0?!

Ntirlis says that 8.Be3 is the only way for White to maintain equality. Why? I’m afraid you have to buy Ntirlis’ book to get the answer.

8…0–0 9.Nxc6

The same Ntirlis points out that 9.Bxc6 bxc6 10.Nxc6 (10.Be3 Qe8! “White must worry about several ideas, including Qxe5, f7–f6 and Ba6.”) 10…Qd7! 11.Nd4 Qe7! 12.Bf4 f6! is already better for Black, as per Neuvonen-Timmerman, corr 1991. “Timmerman is a living legend among correspondence players and I always trust his analysis in the open games, as he never wastes a chance to punish an opponent for venturing a dubious sideline.”

9…bxc6 10.Bxc6 Ba6!

We are still in Ntirlis’ book! After I played this move my opponent spent about 30 mins figuring things out but wound up worsening her position.



11.Qxd5 Bxf1 12.Qxe4 (12.Kxf1 Qh4 White should resign) 12…Bb5! 13.Nc3 (13.Bxb5 Qd1+ 14.Bf1 Qxc1 winning) 13…Bxc6 14.Qxc6 Bd4 15.Bf4 Rb8! 16.b3 Qe8 17.Qf3 Rb6 Black is better;

11.Bxa8 Bxf1 12.Be3 (12.Kxf1 Qh4 13.Qf3 Rxa8 Black is clearly better; 12.Bxd5 Bc4 Black is winning) 12…Bxe3 13.fxe3 Bxg2! 14.Qg4 (14.Kxg2? Qg5+ followed by Qxe3) 14…Bh3 15.Qxh3 Qg5+ 16.Kf1 Rxa8 Black is likewise winning.

11…Bxb4 12.Bxa8 Bxf1 13.Kxf1 Qh4

In this position I have a huge advantage.

14.Be3 Rxa8 15.h3 Rd8 16.Bxa7? c5! 17.Qe2 Qe7 18.Bb6 Qxe5 19.c3 Qh2 20.Qb5 Nd6 21.Qc6 Re8 22.Qxe8+ Nxe8 23.cxb4 Qh1+ 24.Ke2 Qc1 0–1

Very impressive. I think it is only a matter of time before she becomes the Philippines’s second WGM after Janelle Mae Frayna.


Bobby Ang is a founding member of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and its first Executive Director. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA), he taught accounting in the University of Santo Tomas (UST) for 25 years and is currently Chief Audit Executive of the Equicom Group of Companies.