Monday, December 13, 2010

Just say sorry, Joey

GM JOEY Antonio is out of the Philippine team that will be sent to the Chess Olympiad in Russia and the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou ,China.

Not only that, he stands to lose his monthly allowance of P20,000.

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What happened? How can such a misfortune be possible?

After examining all the facts and following the drama the past week or so, my conclusion is that it is all a matter of misunderstanding.

But Joey should not justify his actions and air his grievances to the media as the blame largely falls upon himself as he was warned and had ample time to rectify his error. What he should do is to admit his mistake and ask for forgiveness from NCFP president Prospero Pichay, who is a reasonable man.

The whole thing started when Joey snubbed the two most prestigious international tournaments of the country--the back-to- back Pichay Cup and the Campomanes Memorial.

The $100,000 Campomanes Memorial is considered to be a major tournament this year and even Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Ignatius Leong, the Fide president and secretary-general were here.

Instead Joey went to the USA and competed in the minor 2nd Central California Open which he won. He also planned to play in the Atlantic Open and return home on Sept. 9, which is too late for the Campo Memorial.

Meanwhile, Pichay said Antonio faces expulsion from the national team if he fails to return to the country in time and participate in the first Campomanes Memorial .

Pichay instructed NCFP executive director Willie Abalos to relay the possible sanction
to Antonio.

“We are giving him the chance and will wait until Saturday. If he fails to show up then we have no other choice but to replace him,” added Abalos.

“Definitely, we will sanction him. Discipline is important for a national player and we will not tolerate players who are prima donnas,” said Pichay.

Antonio said, “I have all the documents signed by Mr. Pichay. I also made a courtesy call on PSC chairman Richie Garcia before I left so I am completely puzzled by their decision, which I hope is not final. Physically, I cannot play in the ‘Campo’ Memorial because my plane ticket has been booked until Sept. 9. If they would send me a new ticket, I will go home ASAP.”

I note a tinge of arrogance here. He should have gone home pronto!

Pichay said, “Yes, I signed the letter intended for the PSC, but it doesn’t mean that he was given the go signal to miss the two major events in the country. We already had the order that national players must take part in at least one tournament, either the Pichay Cup or the Campomanes Memorial. His action shows that he is not serious in joining the team.”

Antonio, the country’s No. 2, said, “Modesty aside, I have given so much honor and glory to the Philippines being one of the main pillars for the RP team in the past 10 Olympiads along with Eugene Torre. I have dedicated my life to the sport and now, they just want to snuff out the fire in me?”

GMs Wesley So, John Paul Gomez, Darwin Laylo and Asia’s first grandmaster Eugene Torre are the other members of the team.

Joey’s replacement will be chosen after the Campo Memorial.

My wish though is for Joey to remain on the team. After all, he has learned his lesson. Taking legal action, which he and his wife are planning to do, is not advisable. It will only make things worse for him.

CLINIC. A clinic on basic chess principles will be conducted in Gun-ob,Lapu-lapu City for kiddies 14 years and younger on Sept.5.

After the clinic, there will be a tournament among the participants with attractive prizes at stake. For details, contact Manny Manzanares at 09058386318 or Jun Olis at 09103476987.


Friday, September 3, 2010

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