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  • UPSET that his request to switch federations last year was ignored by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines, Grandmaster Wesley So has ruled out the possibility of playing for the Philippines in the World Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway in August. So made his sentiments known in an in­terview with the website chess­dom.com, say­ing: “Yes. I made a request last November to the President (Pros­pero Pichay Jr.) of the National Chess Federa­tion of the Phil­ippines. I offered to play for the Philippines one last time at the Tromso Chess Olympiad, with the condition that I would be grant­ed permission to switch federation at the conclusion of the even “My request was simply dis­regarded.

    I never received a direct answer. At this point, it is too late for me to represent the Philippines in the up­coming Olympiad in Tromso, even if the NCFP accepts the offer I made last November. I made other commitments af­ter the June 1st deadline for the submission of Olympiad team roster.”

    Eugene Torre, Asia’s first grandmaster and con­sidered the elder statesman of Philippine chess, proposed last Monday the NCFP accede to So’s request as a “win-win solution.”
    So, the country’s top chess players with an Elo rat­ing of 2774, claimed this was not the first time he felt slight­ed by the NCFP.

    He criticized the NCFP for its failure to put up a “se­rious training system,” citing it as one of the reasons in his bid to seek US citizenship and transferring his affiliation with the United States Chess Fed­eration.

    “One of the problems is the current system in the Philippines… there is no seri­ous training system. There are also very few strong tourna­ments in Asia,” said So.
    He pointed out the lack of intensive training and high-level competitions are the same problems plaguing fellow grandmasters like Ju­lio Catalino Sadorra, Oliver Barbosa and Mark Paragua, among others.

    “They need help with training, play in stronger events, and know they will have consistent support from the NCFP,” he added.(Malaya)

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