THE Philippine women’s team seeks to sustain its impressive showing as it clashes with 15th seed Spain tonight in the sixth round of the 43rd World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia.
The Filipinas pulled off a shock 2-2 draw with 25th seed England in the fifth round that positioned them in a 10-country tie at 23rd place with seven match points, or just three points behind solo leader United States, which remained unbeaten with 10 points.
Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales, the women’s squad’s coach, said they will field in WGM Janelle Mae Frayna, Woman FIDE Master Shania Mae Mendoza and Woman International Masters (WIM) Antoinette San Diego and Bernadette Galas against the Spaniards.
WIM Catherine Secopito takes a rest after absorbing two straight defeats.
“We’re hoping and praying to have a good result against Spain,” said Gonzales, whose trip in this biennial, 11-round tournament is bankrolled by the Philippine Sports Commission.
Frayna and Mendoza have been the highest scorer for the Pinay chessers so far with 3.5 points out of five games apiece while Galas, San Diego and Secopito had two points each.
Gonzales’ ploy of playing Galas with the white pieces and San Diego with black has been drawing good results with the former staying perfect in two games and the latter getting two points out of three games.
Meanwhile, the men’s team, which skidded at a group at 101st place with four points following a loss to Lebanon, aims to end an alarming three-match slump as it clashes with lowly Jersey.