Pacquiao Asian Cup chess starts May 18

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 with the region’s top players expected to join.
National Chess Federation of the Philippines president Prospero Pichay Jr. made the announcement yesterday as he lauded Pacquiao for sponsoring the tournament held under the auspices of the NCFP, Asian Chess Federation and Fide, and organized by the Eugene Torre Chess Foundation.
“Congressman Pacquiao epitomizes the ideal of a sound mind in a sound body,” said Pichay. “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.”
The top five in the Open division qualify for the World Cup scheduled this August in Tromso, Norway, while the Women’s champion advances to the 2014 Women’s World Championship.
Thus far, only Grandmasters Oliver Barbosa and Wesley So have advanced among Filipino players.
Barbosa finished in the top five in last year’s Asian Continental in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, while So, the country’s top player, booked his ticket in the Zonal Championship organized by Mayor Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino last January in Tagaytay City.
The Asian Continental will be a 9-round Swiss system with games scheduled daily.
This is the fourth time for the Philippines to host the event. Previous editions were held in Cebu City in 2007 and Subic Bay in 2009 and 2010.
Asian Chess Federation president Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifah Al Nahyan will be the guest of honor during the opening rites.
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 Torre, Asia’s first GM who became Southeast Asia’s first Fide Senior trainer recently.
For details, players may call Pat Lee at 0927-7209260 or e-mail Seminar inquiries may be made with Elias Lao at 09262378876.(pr)
Asia’s first Grandmaster Eugene Torre and the Philippines’ pambansang kamao Manny Pacquiao.

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