Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Wesley making right moves in GM bid – Torre

– by Joey Villar, The Philippine Star, March 21, 2007

The way he’s stamping his class on the chessboard, Wesley So could become the next Filipino Grandmaster.

No less than Asia’s first GM predicted So’s rise to chess prominence, saying the 14-year-old whiz kid has the skills and talent to make it to the elite club of GMs that includes Joey Antonio, Bong Villamayor, Mark Paragua and Nelson Mariano II.

(Wesley So, 8th Dubai Open, April 2006)

"What can I say, he’s showing a lot of promise," Torre told The STAR the other day, referring to the Cavite-based teener. "He is the most likely player to become the country’s next GM."

The National Chess Federation of the Philippines, in fact, has prepared two Closed GM tournaments slated April 10-18 at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone where So, with one GM result tucked under his belt, could become the country’s next GM.

IMs Ronald Dableo and Darwin Laylo, with two GM norms each, actually have better chances than So but both players were suspended by the NCFP for their involvement in the chess scandal, thereby hampering their GM title bids.

So obtained his first GM result in a tournament in Malaysia last year, barely missing clinching his second norm after he blundered what could have been a winning game against Russian GM Vladimir Belov in the final round of the President Arroyo Cup in November last year.


Sunday, March 11, 2007


Philippine Airlines Sponsors Chess Tournament in Reef Mall

Over 60 of the best expatriate chess players in the United Arab Emirates ("UAE") and several UAE local enthusiasts vyed for the coveted title in the Philippine Airlines sponsored Chess Tournament held in Reef Mall, Dubai.

Under the 9 round Swiss System regulations, the tournament commenced on Thursday, 1 March 2007 until Friday, 9 March 2007 and was organised by the Filipino Chess Players League ("FCPL") with support from the UAE Chess Federation and Dubai Chess Club.

The UAE Chess Federation Executive Director, Dr. Hesham Elgendy, who was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony, expressed his gratitude to the sponsor and organiser for initiating this event and helping promote the game in the UAE. In his address, Dr. Elgendy said "On behalf of the UAE Chess Federation, I extend my appreciation to the Filipino Chess Players League for organising this tournament, which is an excellent venue to foster camaraderie among the different nationalities in the UAE".

Dr. Elgendy has commended Philippine Airlines for sponsoring this competition and he hoped that other companies would follow its example to further boost awareness and interest in the game. Dr Elgendy added that the UAE Chess Federation would always extend support by any possible means to achieve noble activities such as this tournament.

The opening ceremony was also attended by Philippine Consul General Honorable Antonio Curameng, Reef Mall Management's representative Engineer Rolly Arlante, DNATA Senior Sales Executive Joey Tiberio and FCPL President Marz S. Marcial. "A competition like this is a very good activity outside of work. Chess helps improve analytical ability and encourages players to be resourceful and creative in finding solutions to practical challenges. I congratulate all of you for being part of this event…" said Honorable Antonio Curameng, who made the ceremonial opening moves with Dr. Hesham Elgendy.

Mr. Joey Tiberio added that Philippine Airlines was pleased to be part of the UAE's chess community through the company's sponsorship of this event. Philippine Airlines' support to chess is part of the company's social responsibility initiatives, which are aimed at benefiting the community.

Leading the opening-round was top-seed Fide Master Antonio Molina I of the Philippines, who handed Emman Marbella a clinical thrashing in their first-round encounter. Other noted players who laboured through their opening assignments were second-seed Danny Baltazar, third-seed Arnel Matildo and dark horse Singaravelan Narayan of India.

The tournament is part of a series of activities lined up by the FCPL this month in preparation for the Dubai Chess Open Championship, one of the most prestigious annual international tournaments in the UAE to be held during the month of April at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club.

"We are very thankful to Philippine Airlines for their help and we look forward to a further collaborative efforts with them," said FCPL President Marz S. Marcial. He further said that this will be a busy month for chess players as, immediately after this tournament, the FCPL will organize another event at the Dubai Festival City ("DFC"), which will feature more exciting activities. The DFC event will have separate competitions for senior and junior players, themed competitions featuring teams made up of family members, a puzzle-solving contest and simultaneous chess exhibitions.

For more information, please contact:

Jobannie C. Tabada
Media Liaison Officer
Tel: +971 50 4674887

Marz S. Marcial
FCPL President
Tel: +971 50 8618734

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