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Asian Continental chess tourney set

Manila, Philippines – The $100,000 Manny Pacquiao Cup Asian Continental Open and Women’s Chess Championships will be held May 18 to 26 at the Midas Hotel in Pasay City, National Chess Federation of the Philippines Chairman and President Prospero A. Pichay, Jr. announced yesterday.

“We thank the champ, Congressman Pacquiao, for his support. He is an avid chess player and will give many Filipinos the chance to participate and see top grandmasters in action. We expect the best players from all over Asia to join and we will show once again how strong Phiippine chess is. Congressman Pacquiao epitomizes the ideal of a sound mind in a sound body” Pichay said.

The tournament is held under the auspices of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines, Asian Chess Federation and FIDE, and organized by the Eugene Torre Chess Foundation.

The top five qualify to the World Cup scheduled this August in Tromso, Norway. Filipino Grandmasters Wesley So and Oliver Barbosa are the early qualifiers. Barbosa finished in the top five in last year’s Asian Continental in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Wesley So qualified from the Zonal Championship organized by Mayor Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino last January in Tagaytay City.

The Asian Women’s champion advances to the 2014 Women’s World Championship tournament. Last year’s Asian women’s champion was Irene Sukandar of Indonesia.

The tournament will be a 9-round Swiss system with games scheduled daily. This is the fourth time for the Philippines to host the Asian Continental previously held in Cebu City in 2007, and Subic Bay in 2009 and 2010. Asian Chess Federation president Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifah Al Nahyan shall be the guest of honor during the opening of the event.

Concurrent with the championship will be a FIDE Trainers Seminar from 20-24 May, organized by the Florencio Campomanes Chess Academy under the auspices of the Asian Chess Federation and conducted by FIDE Trainers Commission Secretary GM Efstratios Grivas of Greece and GM Eugene Torre. Asia’s first grandmaster
was recently conferred the FIDE Senior Trainer title, the only FST in Southeast Asia.

For more information, players may call Pat Lee at the NCFP office, tel 0927-7209260 or email ncfpsecretariat2012@gmail.com. Seminar inquiries may be made with Elias Lao at 09262378876.

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