WITH WGM Janelle May Frayna falling apart with her third straight setback, GM Jayson Gonzales played well enough to to boost his own chances in the 21st Hogeschool Zeeland Open 2017 in Vlissingen, Netherlands.
Gonzales, who is also doubling as Frayna’s coach, easily hurdled untitled Andries Mellema of the Netherlands in the eighth and penultimate round to climb into a tie for 10th to 20 th places with still one round left in the nine-round, 226-player tournament.
The Far Eastern University head coach has six points on five wins, two draws and only one loss to 12-year-old prodigy IM R. Praggnandhaa of India in the seventh round.
Gonzales is only half a point behind nine players, led by top seed GM Eduard Itturrizaga Bonelli of Venezuela, No. 2 seed GM Kontanstin Landa of Russia and GM Benjamin Bok of the Netherlands.
Gonzales will meet IM Hugo Ten Hertog of the Netherlands In the ninth round
It was a different story for Frayna, however.
Frayna continued her freefall when she bowed to Eric Sparenberg of the Netherlands and skidded further below in 66 th place with only 4.6 points, all in the first five rounds.
The 21-year-old Legazpi City,Bicol-born Frayna suffered her third straight defeat following heart-breaking setbacks to Landa and Attila Czebe of Hungary in the previous two rounds.
Frayna wil close out her campaign with a game against WFM A. Harshini of India.
Frayna is using her European campaign to gain rating points and become the country’s first female to earn a men’s GM title.
Her campaign is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), headed by Chairman William Ramirez, the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), led by president/chairman Prospero Pichay Jr. and secretary-general Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, FEU chairman Aurelio Montinola III, Senator Koko Pimentel and Rep. Neri Colmenares.
Meanwhile, GM Wesley So finished 10th and last in the fifth Sinquefield Cup at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center in St. Louis, USA.
So wound up with only three points on one win, four draws and four losses in the prestigious, nine-round tournament which featured 10 of the strongest chess players in the world.
GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France emerged as the champion with six points, half a point ahead of world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Viswanathan Anand of India.
So, who now represents the United States, posted his only win against GM Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia in the second round.
The 23-year-old So lost to Vachier-Lagrave in the first round, Carlsen in the fifth round, Levon Aronian of Armenia in the sixth round and Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the eighth round.
His draws came against GM Hikaru Nakamura of the US in the third round, Peter Svidler of Russia in the fourth round, Fabiano Caruana of the US in the seventh round and Anand in the ninth round.
With the result, So dropped to No 8 in the world rankings, losing 18.1 points. He was previously No. 2 in the world.