AS the whole world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, chess players are now going online to continue to play the game.
This time, it will be the Philippines vs Sweden All-Female Chess Showdown on Sunday, April 26 at Lichess.
The 20-board match is being organized by Sweden-based WIM Cristine Rose Mariano-Wagman of the Philippines and her friend Susanna Berg-Laachiri of Sweden.
Games will be played online starting at 9 p.m. Sunday Manila time
"It will be just a friendly 20-board match featuring the top female players of the Philippines and Sweden," said Mariano-Wagman, who still holds the record as the youngest female player 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.
WGM Janelle Mae Frayna will spearhead the Philippines' campaign in the online dual match.
Joining Mariano-Wagman and Frayna in the Philippine team are WIM Catherine Pereña-Secopito, WIM Shania Mendoza, WIM Marie Antoinette San Diego, WIM Bernadette Galas, WIM Kylen Joy Mordido, WIM Vic Glysen Derotas, WFM Cherry Ann Mejia, WFM Allaney Jia Doroy, WFM Samantha Glo Revita, WFM Ella Grace Moulic, WFM Jerlyn Mae San Diego, WNM Francois Marie Magpily, Rowelyn Joy Acedo, Franchell Eds Javier, Daphne Dy, Mary Joy Tan, Florence Faith S. Guevarra and Zsuzsa Tabudlong.
Sweden will be bannered by WIM Inna Agrest, WIM Christine Andersson, WIM Viktoria Johansson, WFM Jelena Andric, WFM Emilia Horn, WFM Susanna Berg, Eva Johansson, Alva Ling Tran, Matia Berg, Linn Olsson, Cajsa Lindberg, Pia Franson, Yvonne Wetterling, Angelica Lindberg, Victoria Stromberg, Paula Svensson, and Konah Anderrsson.
Well-known Swedish GM Pia Cramling will not play in the friendly match but will join as live commentator-observer.
Although she acquired her Swedish citizenship in 2016, Mariano-Wagman said she chose to play for Team Philippines during the friendly match.
"Gusto nga po sana nila na maglaro ako sa Swedish team, pero pinili ko sa Philippines para ma-inspire ko ang mga kababayan natin," explained Mariano-Wagman, who also now has a six-year-old son named Logan.