Online chess: Frayna, Mariano-Wagman to lead PH vs Sweden
MANILA, Philippines – Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna and Woman International Master Cristine Rose Mariano-Wagman will spearhead the Philippine side when the Filipinas meet their Swedish counterparts in an online showdown starting at 9 pm on Sunday, April 26, Manila time.
The 20-board all-female match is being organized by Umea, Sweden-based Mariano-Wagman and her Swedish friend Susanna Berg-Laachiri to provide chess players a venue to play without leaving their homes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other members of Team Philippines are WIM Catherine Pereña-Secopito, WIM Shania Mendoza, WIM Marie Antoinette San Diego, WIM Bernadette Galas, WIM Kylen Joy Mordido, and WIM Vic Glysen Derotas.
Also in the national roster are Woman Fide Master Cherry Ann Mejia, WFM Allaney Jia Doroy, WFM Samantha Glo Revita, WFM Ella Grace Moulic, WFM Jerlyn Mae San Diego, Woman National Master Francois Marie Magpily, Rowelyn Joy Acedo, Franchell Eds Javier, Daphne Dy, Mary Joy Tan, Florence Faith S. Guevarra and Zsuzsa Tabudlong.
Composing Team Sweden are WIM Inna Agrest, WIM Christine Andersson, WIM Viktoria Johansson, WFM Jelena Andric, WFM Emilia Horn, and WFM Susanna Berg,
Rounding out the Swedish cast are Eva Johansson, Alva Ling Tran, Matia Berg, Linn Olsson, Cajsa Lindberg, Pia Franson, Yvonne Wetterling, Angelica Lindberg, Victoria Stromberg, Paula Svensson, and Konah Anderrsson.
Legendary Pia Cramling, the fifth female to become a full-fledged GM and former top-ranked female player of the world, will not play for Sweden in the friendly match but will join as live commentator-observer in Lichess.
"It will be just a friendly 20-board match featuring the top female players of the Philippines and Sweden," said Mariano-Wagman, once the youngest Filipino to become a national women’s champion at age 14.
"But I expect real good matches during the competition," added Mariano-Wagman, who is married to Swedish businessman Jörgen Wågman.
With Frayna and Mariano-Wagman at the helm, the Philippines is slightly favored over Sweden, which fared better in the 2018 Batumi (Georgia) Chess Olympiad.
Team Philippines, then composed of Frayna, Secopito, Mendoza, San Diego and Galas, landed 67th with 11 points. Sweden placed 56th with 12 points.
Although she acquired Swedish citizenship in 2016, Mariano-Wagman said she chose to play for Team Philippines, which she represented in the Chess Olympiad many times.
"Gusto nga po sana nila na maglaro ako sa Swedish team, pero pinili ko sa Philippines para ma-inspire ko ang mga kababayan natin," said Mariano-Wagman, sister of GM Nelson Mariano II.
(They wanted me to play for the Swedish team, but I chose to play for the Philippines to inspire fellow Filipinos.) – Rappler.com