Friday, May 15, 2009

DepEd signs MOA with NCFP

ALL work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Five years ago, I wrote about the benefits of chess as a learning tool for children and I followed it up with a few more articles. That dream will now be realized.

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Last April 30, the memorandum of agreement between the Department of Education (DepEd) and the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) was signed and finalized, as well as the launching of the National Chess Academy.

PGMA, DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus and NCFP president Prospero Pichay were present. The venue was at the Bulwagan
ng Karunungan, DepEd Complex in Pasig. I wish I was there as this is a major turning point in the history of education in our country.

Chess will now be integrated in the basic education curriculum of Grades 3 to 6 and all high school levels starting next school year.

Incidentally, Honorary Fide president Florencio Campomanes informed me sometime ago that the person mainly responsible for including chess in the curriculum is Bro. Rolando Dizon, who was formerly the chairman of the Commission on Higher Education and the president of De La Salle University. He was also an officer of NCFP.

He was also, at one time, an adviser to PGMA on charter change, which shows he has the ears and confidence of the president.

Here is what Benjamin Franklin says about chess:

“Chess teaches foresight, by having to plan ahead; vigilance, by having to keep watch over the whole chess board; caution, by having to restrain ourselves from making hasty moves; and finally, we learn from chess the greatest maxim in life—that even when everything seems to be going badly for us we should not lose heart, but always hope for a change for the better, steadfastly continue searching for the solutions to our problems.”

Here is another one by Shelley Smith. “Life is like a game of chess, in which there are an infinite number of complex moves possible. The choice is open, but the move made contains within it all future moves. One is free to choose, but what follows is the result of one’s choice. From the consequences of one’s action there is never any escape.”

Take notice, the annual Rose Pharmacy Open Chess Tournament will be at 9 a.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. This prestigious chess event will have a Kiddies Open Category on the same dates.

Tournament venue is the Activity Center, Main Ground Floor of A! City Mall—ACT Cyber Tower located at corner P. del Rosario and Leon Kilat Streets.

Registration is now going on at Colonade Chess Club. For further information, players may contact Marvin Ruelan (09164232335), Tony Cabibil (09167844724), Roger Abella (09102686890/ 255-5057).

Incidentally, former Sun.Star sports editor Jobannie Tabada is competing in the Dubai Open 2009 together with four other Pinoys who are based there.

After four rounds, he has two wins and two losses, both to GMs. The tournament will conclude on May 5.

GM Wesley So, the defending champion who made history last year by becoming the youngest player ever to win the event, did not participate as he is preparing for the Asian Continental Championship scheduled on May 13 to 24 in Subic in Olongapo.

The fourth Fide Grand Prix Series Tournament was held in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia last April 14 to 29.

Levon Aronian and Peter Leko were tied going to the 13th and last round and fans were expecting a quick draw. However, it was a fierce battle and Aronian prevailed in the end after an exchange sacrifice. Etienne Bacrot, Boris Gelfand and Vladimir Akopian also won. Leko and Akopian finished in joint second place, while Alexander Grischuk and Bacrot were a further half point behind.

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