By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna downed Russian-born Leya Garifullina of FIDE in the final round to finish decently in the 2022 FIDE World Blitz Women’s Chess Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan Friday, Dec. 30.
Frayna, 25, actually finished in a seven-player tie for 19th place with 10 points apiece that included World No. 2 Aleksandra Goryachkina and three-time European champion Valentina Gunina of Russia.
But after tiebreaks, the Army woman from Bicol ended up at 24th spot out of 99 participants, in a performance that made up for her dismal 75th-place finish in the rapid event a few days ago.
Frayna, in all, had eight wins, four draws and five losses.
Her biggest win in the tournament came at the expense of 16th seed Georgian GM Bela Khotenashvili, a former world youth champion, in the 15th round.
Her other triumphs came at the expense of FIDE Master Ekateribna Borisova and WFM Anna Shukhman of FIDE, WIM Yao Lan of England, WGM Atousa Pourkashiyan of the United States, WIM Nazerke Nurgali of Kazakhstan, and WGM Govhare Beydullayeva of Azerbaijan.
Kazakh IM Bibisara Assaubayeva smashed Indian GM Dronavalli Harika to rule the event with 13 points and successfully defended her title in her home country.
Half a point behind was Indian GM Humpy Koneru, who bested Chinese GM Tan Zhongyi.