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Chess is perfect for Filipinos

Chess Grandmaster Wesley So
GM Wesley So: Filipino at heart

FILIPINOS should play chess.

This was stressed by Fischer Random world champion GM Wesley So in his message to fellow Filipino chess enthusiasts during the first-ever Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) Player’s Draft at the Quezon City Sports Club in Quezon City last Sunday.

In a message read by PCAP founding-president-commissioner Atty. Paul Elauria, So said the establishment of PCAP is a dream worth fighting for and that the Filipinos’ natural ability is not for foreign ball sports, but chess.

So opened his message of encouragement with the salutation, “My Fellow Filipino Chess Enthusiasts.”

The salutation drew cheers from the PCAP officials and participants.

“Our natural, God-given ability is in the way we use our brains. Who is more resourceful, creative, innovative and imaginative than the Filipino? Who manages to survive no matter what the world throws at him? Who is constantly devising plans to win?,” So said in his message.

The 27-year-old Bacoor, Cavite-born Filipino champion, who now represents the United States in international chess competitions, said playing chess is not guaranteed to make one a grandmaster.

It is also not a guarantee that one can make a living at the sport.

“But I can guarantee this: if you train your brain with chess, you will go much farther ahead in life, than if you train only your body for other physical sports,” explained So, who captured the country’s first-ever Universiade gold medal in Kazan, Russia in 2013.

So said he was excited and surprised when he heard about the formation of PCAP, headed by Elauria and Chairman Michael Angelo Chua.

“It takes such courage and stamina to start thinking differently in an arena where thinking has been characterized by complacency and status quo,” said So.

So’s full message:

Dear Fellow Filipino Chess Enthusiasts.

I was excited as well as surprised when I heard about the formation of the PCAP. It takes such courage and stamina to start thinking differently in an arena where thinking has been characterized by complacency and status quo.

Filipinos should play chess. Our natural ability is not for foreign ball sports. Our natural, God given ability is in the way we use our brains. Who is more resourceful, creative, innovative and imaginative than the Filipino? Who manages to survive no matter what the world throws at him? Who is constantly devising plans to win?

No one can guarantee that if you train in chess you will become a Grandmaster. No one can guarantee you will go on to make your living at this sport. But I can guarantee this: if you train your brain with chess, you will go much farther ahead in life, than if you train only your body for other physical sports.

Thank you to the PCAP Board, headed by Chairman Michael Angelo Chua, to Commissioner Paul Elauria, and everyone else involved for trying to create a professional chess league. It’s a dream worth fighting for.

(Sgd.) GM Wesley So

A total of 96 players, led by Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre and GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr., were taken in by 24 member-teams, during the PCAP Draft.

Torre, also the first player to be granted a government-issued professional chess license by the Games and Amusments Board (GAB), was selected as the No. 1 overall pick by Rizal.

Antonio, the 13-time national champion, was picked as No. 2 by Iloilo.

Aside from So, GAB Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra, Asian Chess Federation (ACF) executive director Toti Abundo and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) executive director Atty. Cliburn Anthony Orbe also delivered inspirational messages to the participants of PCAP.

The PCAP First Conference is scheduled to kick off on Jan. 12.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Ed Andaya
Sports Editor - People's Tonight

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