Pinoy chess players ready to bounce

AFTER a humiliating shutout for a medal at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Filipino chess players are hoping to do better this time around when they compete in the SEA Games Vietnam Chess Tournament which opens today hui in the Vietnamese city of Ha Long, in the province of Quang Ninh.

The chess action begins at the Quang Ninh City Planning and Exhibition Exhibition Center with the men’s and women’s individual standard chess events in the scenic city including Ha Long Bay, a World Heritage Site, located 153.1 kilometers east of the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi.

“The national team trained hard, with virtual training last year and at the beginning of this year. From March 1 to the first week of May, our training was face to face with daily physical exercises as well as practice matches,” said Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales, the national women’s coach.

“We don’t want our embarrassment at SEA Games 2019 to be repeated,” Gonzales said of the home chess debacle, with international master Jan Emmanuel Garcia becoming the hosts’ saving face by winning the chess demo event. online chess. .

Gonzales, who is also the executive director of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines, said the training involves local players competing against senior and veteran masters teams made up of former Chess Olympiad veterans, international masters and titled players.

He is proud of the women’s team led by female grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna “who played excellent and outstanding in tearing down some of them”.

The men’s team is made up of GMs Darwin Laylo, John Paul Gomez, MI Garcia, Paulo Bersamina and Daniel Quizon while the women’s team is made up of Frauna, Woman International Masters Bernadette Galas, Jan Jodilyn Fronda, Antoinette San Diego and Woman FIDE Master Shania. Mae Mendoza.

Venerable GM Eugene Torre is the Men’s National Coach with National Master Edmundo Gatos as assistant.

With a total of five gold medals each on the line in the men’s and women’s events, Gonzales said the Pinoy players were keen to go home with at least two gold medals.

“We expect to win two gold medals in the individual events; most likely in the team events we can bring home at least a bronze medal,” he said.

The last time the country won a gold medal at the biennial sports festival was through chief executive Wesley So, who led the men’s individual blitz event at the SEA Games Indonesia in 2011 So is now a US citizen.

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