Friday, August 7, 2015

Pestaño: Manny Pacquiao’s love for chess

MANNY is a phenomenon. There has never been a personality like him ever since in this country or anywhere else in the world for that matter.
He was fascinated by chess long before he became a boxer. Whenever he is in Manila, Pacquiao would often gather his friends, led by former PBA player Zaldy Realubit, several times a week in his house in Forbes Park and host chess tournaments.
His chess activities are posted on Facebook and just recently, Manny put up a P100,000 for the team champion and P30,000 for the individual winner. In all, the prize money was as high as P500,000 according to Realubit.
“Maliit pa nga yan, kasi pag sa Gen. San siya nagpa-tournament, umaabot pa ng P3 million, kasi nagpapapalaro pa siya. Napakabait ni Boss. Hindi siya madamot,” Realubit said in a article.
Realubit says Pacquiao is a chess fanatic; his passion for the game is as fervent as his love for boxing and basketball. He also plays darts and billiards.
“Una kami-kami lang ‘yan. Tapos may nagdala na ng mga masters, tapos ayun nag team-team na ang laban. Hanggang sa dumami na. Kagabi nga, 28 kami,” Realubit in the article.
Asked if Pacquiao sometimes wins his own tournaments, Realubit said yes.
“Oo, laging nananalo sa individual, pero bihira siya mag-champion. Sa team, malakas siya, kasi kakampi niya sila Eugene Torre at iba pang national masters. Kaya natatalo kami,” he said. “Chess ngayon ang pinaka-favorite ni boss. Kilala naman si boss na matulungin talaga. Nilagyan lang nya ng kaunting challenge ngayon.”
“Maganda ito kasi hindi na siya nagsusugal. Pero nagpa-premyo na lang siya. Malaking tulong sa mga atleta natin na walang pondo, kasi nakakakuha sila. Wala kang talo, kahit di ka nanalo, may iuuwi kang P2,000 or P3,000.”
One of his favorite playing partners is a legend himself-Efren “Bata” Reyes, considered the best billiard player of all time.
“Lagi kaming naglalaban niyan, noong araw pa. Magandang kalaban eh. May premyo,” said Reyes.
Aside from Reyes and Realubit, other noted Filipino athletes who have joined Pacquiao’s private chess tournaments are “billiards great Francisco ‘Djanggo’ Bustamante, former world 9-ball champion Ronnie Alcano, former Olympic boxing silver medallist Onyok Velasco, and yes, even chess masters such as GM Eugene Torre, IMs Rolando Nolte, and Chito Garma.”
If by chance, Manny will be reading this article, you are invited to our 25th anniversary tournament scheduled on Sept. 19 to 20 tentatively at SM City. We will be deeply honored by your presence.
Cepca. Our August tournament will be on the Aug. 16 at our usual venue ,Handuraw Gorordo starting 2 pm. The total prizes is P10,000 courtesy of our New York-based member, NM Susan Itaas. She is the only Woman National Master in Cebu and was a member of the Philippine team to the Olympiads for three times. She is a CPA by profession.
This is Susan’s birthday gift (Aug. 11) to Cebuano chess players. She says “I love chess so much! Time to give back.”
Prizes for Group A are P2,000, 1,500 and 1,000 and For group B, the prizes are P1,500, 1,000, 800, 700 and 500. Registration for Ladies and kiddies will be free. Aside from that, the top lady and top kiddie will also receive P500 each. Thank you Susan! These prizes are the highest in our monthly tournaments for this year.

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