By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Top seed Janelle Mae Frayna outlasted Allaney Jia Doroy to gain a share of the lead with four others after six rounds of the 2021 National Women’s Chess Championship at the PACE building in Quezon City Tuesday.
The 24-year-old Frayna survived a marathon 91-move duel with Doroy in an English Opening to hike her tally to four points and draw level with Kylen Joy Mordido, Marie Antoinette San Diego, Shania Mae Mendoza and Jan Jodilyn Fronda.
It was Frayna’s third win since her shock defeat to 13-year-old Ruelle Canino in the opener. Frayna also halved the point twice.
Frayna could improve even further if she could turn back Francois Marie Magpily in the seventh round Tuesday night.
Mordido, who is being groomed as the country’s next WGM, split the point with San Diego in 31 moves of an English Opening while Mendoza halved the point with Cebu pride Marian Calimbo in 68 moves of a King’s Indian Defense.
Fronda, for her part, had a chance to grab the solo lead with a win over Mariel Rinoa Sadey but settled for a 59-move draw of a Sicilian game.
The draw kept Sadey at solo sixth with three points, half a point ahead of Canino, Doroy and Bernadette Galas with 2.5 points.
Canino turned back Magpily in 69 moves of a Pirc Defense while Galas blasted Lexie Grace Hernandez in 53 moves of a Reti Opening.