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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  1. In cheese you need to have PATIENCE while on the quickest hands, SACRIFICE on the act of lossing control of the game and BASIC plus three moves, times a HEART For protecting the king..

  2. Carlos

    Corruption, Politics, and Greed just to name a few regarding chess in our country. I have been a chess enthusiast just recently, playing chess tournament very rarely, but the only thing I always notice is that, when you enter a non master tournament 10 percent of the player are National masters and that is the best example of greed. Corruption are usually done in higher echelon of NCFP. Politics is usually sending your pet player to play in a particular event though there are better player to send. There are many great talents around, the great proof is when you play on line, countries usually avoid our player because ratings are not true strength indicator. I just hope Chess will be like PBA being sponsored by big companies, but the sad truth is we are hiring talents that is half blood Filipino or even a foreign player just to elevate the standards of our sports, we lack Patriotism, and genuine concern if we set our eyes on the sports of chess, and I hope this nightmare will end and the dreams of any young chess talent will come true one day.

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