SEA Games 2023: Philippines wins silver, bronze medals in Cambodian chess

The Philippines won two medals in the ouk chaktrang (Cambodian chess) competition at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The women’s team, consisting of Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna and Woman International Master Shania Mae Mendoza, won the silver medal in the 60-minute doubles category. The men’s squad, comprising GM Darwin Laylo, IM Paulo Bersamina, IM Jem Garcia, and GM Rogelio Antonio, won the bronze medal in the 60-minute quadruple team category. The ouk chaktrang is a traditional chess sport game in Cambodia.

The women’s team of Frayna and Mendoza secured the silver medal in the 60-minute doubles category on Friday. They had, in fact, virtually come in second place on Wednesday itself. The team defeated Cambodia in the final round of the ouk chaktrang event. The men’s squad won the bronze medal in the quadruple team event. The team members are all veteran chess players in the Philippines and have been featured in various international tournaments.

The ouk chaktrang competition is a traditional chess sport game in Cambodia played with a Cambodian chessboard and pieces made of conical shaped brass. The game is played on a 15-by-16 board where the chess pieces can move in various directions. The competition includes four forms of the game – blitz, double, quadruple, and individual – using the chessboard. The tournament saw the participation of several Southeast Asian countries, each competing with their various players and teams. The winning teams from the Philippines received accolades from the Filipino community and the international competition circuit.

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