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Boost to Philippine Chess

Mordido and San Diego: Brightest hopes.

THE Philippines gets a timely boost exactly 10 days before the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad 2020.

Two of its female players — WIM Kylen Joy Mordido and Jerlyn Mae San Diego — have been invited to take part in the 20-day chess camp organized by FIDE and the AsianChess Federation.

Mordido and San Diego, who will serve as the country’s representatives as the girls’ 18-under in the national team, will join select players who will undergo extensive training from Aug. 1-20.

Former world champion GM Viswanathan Anand, SPICE founder and five–time Olympic champion Susan Polgar and FIDE Trainers Commission head GM Jacob Aagaard will handle the chess camp exclusively for young and talented players.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) executive director Atty. Cliburn Anthony Orbe and head coach GM EugeneTorre hope the experience in the training camp will make both Mordido and San Diego “better and stronger players.”

“Thank you FIDE, thank you Asian Chess Federation. Let’s hope our to players will come out of this training camp stronger than ever,” wrote Orbe in the NCFP website.

Anand, the 50-year-old Indian champion who grew up in Manila, was world champion twice from 2000-2002 and 2007-2013.

Anand is also one of the favorite players of Filipinos.

He learned the intricacies of the game in Manila where he lived with his parents from 1978 up to the early 80s while his father served as a consultant by the Philippine National Railways (PNR).

As a 17-year-old IM and champion of India, Anand also won the world junior championship held in Baguio City on 1987.

Polgar is best remembered in the chesss world as the first trainer-coach of Philippine-born super GM Wesley So.

Polgar is four-time winner of the Women’s World Championships (Under 16, Blitz, Rapid, and Classical) and the only world champion in history to win the Triple-Crown (Rapid, Blitz and Classical World Championships).

Polgar is also five-time Olympic champion with 10 overall medals ( five golds, four silver and one bronze).

She is also the 2006 Women’s Chess Cup champion.

The Filipinos’ campaign in the Online Olympiad will officially begin on Aug. 12 against nine other countries making up Group C.

With the Filipinos in Group C are Netherlands, England, Croatia, Slovakia, Bangladesh, Turkmenistan and three qualifiers from Division 3.

Mordido will play in the first team, along with United States-based GMs Mark Paragua and Rogelio Barcenilla, Jr. (men), WGM Janelle Mae Frayna and WIM Jan Jodilyn Fronda (women) and M Daniel Quizon (juniors).

San Diego will be one of the six reserves.

Joining her are GMs Darwin Laylo and Rogelio Antonio Jr., WIMs Catherine Perena-Secopito and Bernadette Galas and Michael Concio.