The small island nation of Palau is sending a delegation to the 2014 Chess Olympiad in Norway next month — and some of the players are Filipinos! Philippine Honorary Consul Eric Ksau Whipps, the delegation’s head, said five of the 12 players are Filipinas — Angelica Parrado, Baby Edna Mission, Gladys Anne Paloma, Joy Flores Whipps, and Destiny Sisior who, at 10 years old, is the youngest to compete in the Olympiad.
Sisior, daughter of Parrado, is the top player for Women’s Junior category along with 13-year-old Filipino–Palauan Ksau Flores Whipps.
Meanwhile, another young Filipino-Palauan player, nine-year-old Kayah, Ksau’s sister, though not competing in Norway next month, would have a chance to compete in the WorldYouth Chess Championships in South Africa this September. Eric Whipps said the players “have been training for hours on their own every day and also have been in several competition with one ongoing to help improve on their skills.”
Very few women are playing chess in the Pacific, Whipps said. However, the women’s team is composed of dedicated players who, by their sheer determination, are giving both Philippines and Palau something to be proud about.
Whipps noted that Parrado is one of the highest-rated player in the Pacific. Not to be outdone, five Filipinos in the men’s category are also part of the Palau team flying to Norway for the competition. They are Roberto Hernandez, Cyril Tomas Montel Jr., Bernardo Garcia, Dennis Gonzales and Jeffrey Balbalosa.
Hernandez and Balbalosa are also mentoring young Palauans who are showing enthusiasm in chess.(KBK, GMA)