Standings after 10 rounds:
8 points -- J. Frayna (Philippines)
7.5 -- A. Bivol (Russia)
7 -- P. Nandhidhaa (India), D. Saduakassova (Kazakhstan), A. Rueda (Colombia), N . Buksa (Ukraine), D. Vaoshali (India)
BHUBANESWAR, India -- WIM Janelle Mae Frayna of the Philippines brought down WIM Catherina Michelle of India in a keenly-watched encounter to assume the solo lead in the 10th round of the World Junior Chess Championships at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) here.
Frayna, seeded only ninth with an ELO of 2292, outplayed Michelle in 55 moves of the Catalan Opening to improve to eight point s on six wins and four draws in the prestigious 13-round, 57-player tournament.
Frayna’s ninth round co-leader, second seed WIM Alina Bivol of Russia settled for a draw by IM Paula Andrea Rodriguez of Colombia to drop to solo second place with 7.5 points.
Rodriguez moved to a three-way tie for third to seventh places with seven points with still three rounds remaining.
In the 11th round, Frayna will take on the fifth-seeded Rodriguez (ELO 2321).
“Frayna’s path to become the Filipino world junior champion has entered the last three rounds,” said chess writer Ignacio Dee in his analysis for Chess Philippines.
“Preparation and stamina will count for Frayna’s Catalan, which has served her excellently. But the revelation is stout hearted defense as shown in two games where Frayna earned a draw. Her use of time is more economical,” added Dee.
Actually, Frayna could had taken the solo lead as early as the fifth round if she did not accept the draw offer from WIM Dinara Dordzhieva of Russia in a virtual winning position in 41 moves of Reti opening.
The multi-titled campaigner from UAAP champion Far Eastern University drew her game against WIM PV Nandhidhaa of India 41 moves Queens Gambit Declined in the sixth round and won over K. Priyanka of India in 37 moves French Defense Winawer Variation in the seventh round.
Frayna, who was voted as ‘Athlete of the Year’ in the UAAP Season 78, drew her games against WGM Nataliya Buksa of Ukraine in 83 moves of the Catalan Opening in the eighth round and top seed WGM Dinara Saduakassova of Kazakhstan in 46 moves of the Queen’s Gambit Accepted in the ninth round.
Another Filipino campaigner -- Shania Mae Mendoza -- has 4.5 points out of 10 games.
Mendoza fell to Alinasab Mobina of Iran in the ninth round and P. Bala Kannamma of India in the10th round to remain the lower half of the standings with four wins, one draw and five losses.
In the boys division, National University standout Paulo Bersamina made it two wins in a row when he outduelled fifth seed GM Dennis Wagner of Germany to vault into a tie for 11th place with 6.5 points.
Bersamina, one of the country’s brightest young players, has four wins, five draws and one loss. He also won over Dimitrios Papakonstantinou of Greece in the ninth round.