WORLD Fischer-Random chess champion GM Wesley So may have officially became an American citizen last week but he remains a Filipino at heart.
In fact, So personally pledged to continue to support the Filipino chess players to augment their financial needs.
In what could be a big boost to Philippine chess, So has agreed to lend his name for the coming second conference of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) and even provide the cash prizes.
To be known as the GM Wesley So Cup, the PCAP Reinforced Conference — the second of three professional chess tournaments lined up this year — will be held from May to July 2021.
“Aside from lending his name, So likewise personally pledged to provide the funds for the event’s cash prizes,” said PCAP president- commissioner Atty. Paul Elauria.
“His only request in sponsoring the second leg of the PCAP tournament is to ensure that the cash prizes are distributed to the players themselves. This is because GM So wanted to help the players directly,” added Elauria.
Elauria said the decision of So to support PCAP is a “very welcome development considering the recent citizenship change of GM So, who was recently awarded U.S. citizenship.”
“It only confirms that GM So is true to his words that he remains a Filipino by heart and confirms his continued support to the Filipino chess players,” explained Elauria.
“While this partnership has long been finalized, we deemed it timely to announce it now to remind our chess players that GM So has always been concerned with his countrymen, despite his move to the US. After all, chess knows no citizenship.”
Earlier, the 28-year-old Bacoor, Cavite-born Filipino champion So also delivered the inspirational remarks during the PCAP Draft at the Quezon City Sports Club.
Elauria said the PCAP Second Conference, which will run from May to July, 2021, will feature international players who will reinforce the 24 member-teams.
“The format will give the Filipino players a chance to test the skills of their foreign counterparts and will thus add excitement to our games,” said Elauria.
Meanwhile, the PCAP All-Filipino Conference will resume with two more rounds on Wednesday.
The playoffs will begin in mid-March and its championship match on April 3.
Last Saturday, Negros stepped up its campaign in the PCAP All-Filipino tournament by posting back-to-back victories over Palawan and Toledo late Saturday.
The Kingsmen opened the day with an easy win 17-4 win over the Palawan Queen’s Gambits and followed it up with an 11.5-9.5 victory over the Toledo Trojans to take the soli lead anew with a tournament-best 24-3 win-loss record
FM Nelson Mariano III was the top scorer for the Kingsmen with perfect six points — three against WIM Shania Mae Mendoza of Palawan and three against Rogelio Enriquez of Toledo.
Randy Segarra, Rosendo Bandal, Joel Pimentel Rolzon Roullo and Junaico Segismar also contributed to Negros’ impressive performance.
At 24-3, Negros is already assured of a top three finish with only seven rounds left before the playoffs.
PCAP, the only professional chess league in the country, is sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), headed by Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra.Publication Source : People's Tonight