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)