Friday, May 29, 2009

World Cup, chess in schools and San Roque

THE World Cup will be held in Khanty Mansiyk, Russia from Nov. 20-Dec. 15 this year. The tournament is a knockout event of 128 players and is a qualifier to the World Championship.

The 10 qualifiers in the just-concluded Asian Continental Championship in Subic are:

1) Ganguly Surya Shekhar IND; 2) Zhou Weiqi CHN; 3) Yu Yangyi CHN; 4) Yu Shaoteng CHN; 5) Le Quang Liem VIE; 6) Antonio Rogelio Jr. PHI; 7) Hou Yifan CHN; 8) Zhou Jianchao CHN; 9) Sandipan Chanda IND; 10) Sasikiran Krishnan IND.

A big disappointment was our Wesley So, 15, who had too many draws against players rated 2400+ and the venerable Eugene Torre. Both needed to win in the last round, but fell short. In fact, in this tournament, Wesley lost more than 30 Elo in the live ratings with a performance of 2568 in just 4 wins, 5 draws and 2 losses—his worst since he became GM.

Joey Antonio was never thought to be among the favorites, but he played better than all Filipinos and was even solo leader of the tournament after Round 9.

My favorite, Hou Yifan, girl wonder and only 15 years old, easily proved that she could be the next Judit Polgar.

The qualifying eliminations to the Women’s World Championship was also dominated by the Chinese.

There are notable accomplishments by Chardine Cheradee Camacho, who is now a WIM-elect, and Sherily Cua, who snared a WIM Norm. I predicted some time ago that 15-year-old Chardine will be our first woman GM.

India and China are the dominant chess powers in Asia now and at least 10 years ahead of the Philippines—but not for long, though.

Chess in Schools As every chess player knows by now, chess will be a part of the curriculum starting October this year.

So that all may know, the man primarily responsible for this very laudable project is Brother Rolando Dizon, former president of De La Salle University and chairman of the Commission on Higher Education and an officer of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.

Of course, PGMA was also an avid chess player while still young, having lived in Iligan where the game is very popular. With Butch Pichay heading NCFP, you could not find a better person.

In the Philippine public school system, there are around 35,000 grade schools and some 6,000 high schools. There are over 2,000 private high schools. Brother Dizon said they aim to train 35,000 chess teachers by November 2009.

THINK LIKE A KING school chess software system has been named the official scholastic software of the United States Chess Federation and is used across the USA and several countries. They can be contacted at and by email at

The NCFP Chess in Schools Committee is composed of Fide delegate Casto Abundo,Roly Dizon, Saturnino Belen, Bobby Bautista, Bong Villamayor and Jessie Sanchez.

“Chess is a game that improves individual organizational and analytical skills. Children, when exposed to this game at an early age, achieve academically better, or even faster than those who have not been engaged in the game. Likewise, chess is among the activities that help build memory skills, concentration, self-confidence, self-esteem and making disciplined decisions. Playing chess provides opportunities to practice such values as perseverance, honesty and sportsmanship,” Sec. Jesle Lapus stated.

San Roque. Manny Manzanares announced that there will be a competition among kiddies and juniors in the barangay hall of San Roque, Talisay City tomorrow, May 30. Invited are those aged 17 and below.

This is just one of the projects of Barangay Captain Antonio Cabrera for the youth.

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