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Pinoy chess champion disqualified


IN a shocking move by FIDE, the Philippines’ King Whisley Puso was stripped of his title and disqualified for alleged fair play violation in the 2020 FIDE Online World Cadets and Youth Rapid Chess Championships.

Puso topped the Open 12 years old and under competition and earned the right to compete in the world championship scheduled Dec. 19-23.

But tournament chief arbiter Marco Biagioli handed out the disqualification notice on the 11-year-old Filipino player upon the recommendation of the Fair Play Panel which based its findings from “results of elements, they deemed sufficient evidence to establish a cheating incident.

Biagioli said the decision is final.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) executive director Atty. Cliburn Orbe lamented the decision and claimed that Puso and all the Filipino participants followed the rules set by the FIDE.

We stand by our player’s innocence,” said Orbe. “There were two cameras monitoring him as required by the organizers and the arbiters never said anything during the games.

But while the decision was erroneous, Orbe admitted there is nothing the NCFP can do.

The decision was erroneous but unfortunately there is no appeal. We accepted it as a condition before joining.The fair play decisions of the chief arbiter is final,” explained Orbe.

The disqualification of Puso left only Michael Concio, Jr. and April Joy Claros as the Filipinos’ representatives in the five-day online championships organized by FIDE.

Concio finished in a four-way tie for the top spot in the Open 16-under category with Amirreza Pour of Iran, Renjie Huang of China and IM Ritchvik Raja of India with 5.5 points in seven rounds.

Concio, however, clinched the top spot by virtue of higher tiebreak score.

Claros, a high school student of FEU-Diliman, whipped AGM V. Renganayaki of India in the seventh and final round to finish second with six points.

The 14-year-old campaigner from Angeles City, who won her first five matches, lost to Laysa Latifah of Indonesia in the sixth round.