The Sorry State of Philippine Chess

Rappler asks Why has chess fallen in popularity in the Philippines?, and writes:

At the first Battle of Grandmasters in 2006, Wesley So won the first prize of P200,000. But as sponsorships dried up, so did prize money. On Tuesday, June 28 Joey Antonio won and took home a first prize of P18,000.

A sorry state, indeed. The article goes on to explain how Filipino grandmasters are flying out of the country in search of greener pastures.

Apparently, the brain drain in the country doesn’t just happen in white-collar jobs. It does so too in chess.

A radical change is necessary if we are to salvage the Philippine chess from the pitiful condition it is currently in. And that change should start from the top leadership.

In the photo above that I took during 2008 Battle of the Grandmasters, GM Eugene Torre went up against GM Joey Antonio in the 11th round. More pictures of the 2008 Battle of the Grandmasters can be found in my Flickr album.

Check out the winners of the 2016 Battle of the Grandmasters.


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