Plans for Phil. Chess mulled at SCOOP
By Eddie Alinea
Sat, 09 Feb 2013
(PNA) -- Whether or not it pushes through with its non-participation in the coming 27th Southeast Asian Games, the National Chess Federation of the Philippines will continue pursuing its calendar of activities aimed at producing more Grandmasters.
NCFP president Prospero "Butch" Pichay was reported the other day to be thinking of the possibility of boycotting the SEA Games set in December in Myanmar because of the process of adding and reducing several events resorted to by the host country to favor its campaign but detrimental to the campaign of others, especially the Philippines.
NCFP executive director Jayson Gonzales yesterday said during the SCOOP Sa Kamayan session that the association has no official stand yet on the issue and that Pichay will be coming out with an announcement next week.
First and foremost, Gonzales announced during the forum, sponsored by Powerade, AKTV and FILA, is the training program GMs Wesley So and Olivir Barbosa will undergo to prepare them for the World of Chess where they will carry the country's colors August 15 to September 5 in Olson, Norway.
Gonzales said during yesterday's SCOOP Sa Kamayan session that while So, the youngest player to earn his norm at age 14 six years ago flew to the United States last week to continue his training while enjoying a chess scholarship (at Webster University in St. Louis).
"Barbosa, on the other hand, is slated to take part in pair of international tournaments in Vietnam in March, Thailand in April," Gonzales, himself a Grandmaster, said.
"During school breaks in the U.S., So, who earned his seat in the World Cup by ending up second in the recent qualifyiung tournament held in Tagaytay City, and Barbosa, who was first to make it in a tournament in Vietnam last years, will be touring Europe June until July as part of the build-up scheme lined up by the NCFP.
More Filipinos actually stand to join So and Barbosa to the Norway sojourn should they survive the next Asian World Cup tentatively elimination scheduled May 22-29 at a place still to be decided by the International Chess Federation.
"NCFP, through president Pichay, has submitted its bid to host the next qualifying tournament and if we win that right, that would be a big boost for our chess players to earn seats, too, in the Norway World Cup," Gonzales said.
"Pag dumami ang participants natin, siyempre, mas malaki ang tsansa na manalo."
Also scheduled to be held in the country is the Asian Inter-Cities championships in November in Tagaytay City, Gonzales said. Plan is also afoot to train coaches and trainers as well regular seminars for arbiters to uplift the standard of Filipino coaches and arbiters.
Meanwhile, Gonzales also announced that the grand finals of the national age-group championship for players age 6-20 has been scheduled April; 11-19 in Taguig City, adding that an elimination tournament for the purpose will be held Mar 3-6 in Malolos City in Bulacan.
"Winners of the grand finals will advance to the Asean age-group championships in Bangkok June 8-17 and Iran June 20-28," the NCFP executive director said. "This mass-based age-group program is part of the NCFP's efforts to develop young and fresh talents, which we can develop to become GMs. Remember, we last had our 16th GM 2011 pa when Barbosa earned the distinction."