The National Chess Federation of the Philippines launched training classes as part of its Chess in Schools Grassroot Development Program on 20th August in Tanauan City, Batangas.
Local government officials, students, teachers, parents and coaches attended the chess lessons scheduled over three weekends. There were about 250 students subdivided into 7 classes in three different levels, namely beginner, elementary and intermediate.
Tanauan City Executive Director Ruel V. Canobas (holding plaque) leading the launch of the Philippine grassroots chess development program in Tanauan City with National Chess Federation of the Philippines Chairman/President Prospero A. Pichay, Jr. (third from left) and Filipino Grandmasters.
The project is led by former Commissioner of National Telecommunication Commission lawyer Ruel V. Canobas, businessman and sports patron, and presently the Executive Director of the Tanauan Economic Zone Council. He envisions a 5-year program.
NCFP Executive Director and PACE Presdent GM Jayson Gonzales conducting the intermediate level chess classes.
The event is being held in cooperation with Department of Education (DepEd) and Tanauan City Local Government under the supervision of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and with the assistance of the Philippine Academy for Chess Excellence (PACE).
Attending were Hon. Prospero A. Pichay, Jr. Chairman and President of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines, Feliciano Torres, President of Yazaki-Torres Manufacturing Inc., Hon. Gileen V. Canobas, City Councilor, Asia’s First GM Eugene Torre, youngest and Philippine’s top GM Wesley So, World Cup Qualifier GM Mark Paragua and Executive Director of NCFP and Philippine Academy for Chess Excellence President GM Jayson Gonzales.
In his speech, NCFP President Pichay said “Tanauan City is an ideal venue to host major chess tournaments such as the Inter-Cities, Age group and Battle of the Grandmasters, this coming December." Lawyer Ruel Canobas said "We give our full support and hope to produce a Tanauañeno Grandmasters in five years.”
As official representative of the city government, City Councillor Gileen V. Canobas, affirmed their commitment in supporting the youth and chess.
GM Gonzales expounded on the good foundation in chess vital for a player. GMs Torre, So, and Paragua also delivered brief inspirational messages and then conducted simultaneous exhibitions.
Asia's first GM Eugene Torre giving a simultaneous exhibition.
In the afternoon, trainers gave 3-hour chess lessons. Beginner levels were handled by CNM Christian Arroyo, WNM Jenny Rose Palomo, and NM Edmundo Gatus. Elementary levels were conducted by NM Alexander Milagrosa, FM Roderick Nava and IM Yves Rañola. Intermediate level was conducted by GM Jayson Gonzales. They were assisted by Edwin Castillo and Chito Lot.
Teenage GM Wesley So is the local hero of the young Filipino chess players.
Chess lessons and syllabus were provided by the Philippine Academy for Chess Excellence, prepared by IM Rañola, Head Instructor of PACE. There are about ten chess lessons for every level.
GM Mark Paragua (at right) starting his simultaneous exhibition.