Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna puts her title defense in motion when the Philippine National Women’s Championships get going today at the PACE in Mindanao Ave., Quezon City.
The 25-year-old Frayna looms as the early favorite to reign supreme anew having won last year’s edition of this nine-day tournament dangling a total cash purse worth P140,000.
The lion’s share of P50,000 will be awarded to the top performer.
Sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines headed by Prospero Pichay, Jr., the event will also serve as a selection process for the national team seeing action in several international meets including the Hangzhou Asian Games and the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games in Thailand next year.
Expected to give Frayna a serious challenge are fellow Chess Olympiad veterans Woman International Masters Jan Jodilyn Fronda, Bernadette Galas and Marie Antoinette San Diego and Woman FIDE Master Shania Mae Mendoza.
Also in the field are Vic Glysen Derotas, Mary Joy Tan, Franchesca Largo, April Joy Claros, Ayana Usman, Bea Mendoza and Kate Nicole Ordizo with NCFP CEO GM Jayson Gonzales as tournament director and Reden Cruz as chief arbiter.