July 18, 2018, 11:28 pm
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GM Gonzales wins; Frayna tumbles

GRANDMASTER Jayson Gonzales trounced Dutch Kees Nieuwelink to move half a point behind the leaders and then watched his student, Woman GM Janelle Mae Frayna, falter against Russian GM Konstantin Landa and skid out of the top 10 after six rounds of the 21st Hogeschool Zeeland Open 2017 in Vlissigen, The Netherlands on Wednesday night.

Gonzales outlasted Nieuwelink in 50 moves of a Guioco Piano to zoom to a share of third along with nine others with five points, half a point behind co-leaders GMs Eduard Itturizaga Bonelli of Venezuela and Konstantin Landa of Russia.

The former National Chess Federation of the Philippines executive director was half-a-point ahead of Frayna, who played a passive opening line and paid dearly for it, losing to Landa in 46 moves of an Irregular Game.

The beginning of the end for Frayna, whose rating of 2248 paled in comparison to her foe’s 2623, came on the 13th move when she opted to castle kingside instead of just a sidestepping king move that allowed Landa to win the exchange.

When it was over, Frayna was left with a pair of rooks and pawns against Landa’s dangerous pair of bishops, a rook and pawns.

The defeat pushed Frayna, whose trip is being sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, National Chess Federation of the Philippines, FEU’s Aurelio Montinola, The Philippine Star’s Miguel Belmonte and Edward Go and backed by Senate
President Koko Pimentel and Bobby Ang, to a huge group tied at 13th spot with 4.5 points each.

It ended Frayna’s string of four wins, including one in the fifth round at the expense of Dutch International Master Koen Leenhouts and a draw.

The country’s first woman Grandmaster will try to spring back to life as she goes for the win against Hungarian GM Attila Czebe in the seventh round being played at press time.

Gonzales clashes next with Indian IM R Praggnanandhaa, hoping for another win that should catapult him closer to the leaders.
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