GIVING every Filipino woodpusher a chance to earn a spot in the national chess team for the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2021 is such a welcome move by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), which recently conducted the Mindanao qualifying via Tornelo.com.
Former De La Salle University (DLSU) varsity chess teammates Aglipay Eight Oberio of the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) and Arena Grand Master (AGM) Rowelyn Joy Acedo of Davao City barged into the 2021 Selection For Southeast Asian Games Semi Finals in June after placing first and second in the men's and women's rapid events, respectively, of the Mindanao qualifying.
The Visayas Leg is scheduled on May 29 and 30.
But the semis will be a tougher field though as it will bring together all top 20 winners in every qualifying event along with the country's rated including international masters (IMs), women international masters (WIMs), men and women Fide masters, national masters, women national masters, and current Philippine team members.
And if you think that's already hard enough, wait until the grand finals. The top five semis winners in all categories will advance to the grand finals together with current members of Olympiad Team, 30th SEA Games medalists and grand masters (GMs).
According to NCFP, all grand finals division champions will represent the Philippines at the 31st South East Asian Games slated November 21 to December 2 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Davao Region will have great chances in the semifinals with more players qualified to play in the semis. Aside from Oberio and Acedo, Davao City IMs Oliver Dimakiling and John Marvin Miciano, FM Austin Jacob Literatus, and Panabo City's NM Jonathan Tan, among others, are expected to give it their best shot to not just reach the grand finals but also get to play in the SEA Games.
This selection process is tedious just like survival to the fittest. But one of the many good things about this is giving opportunities for ordinary players all over the country, even those in the countryside (of course those with stable internet connection as the tournament is online), to show their wares, gain more experience, and play with the best of the best especially when they level up during the course of the selection process.
We are rooting for our Davao Region woodpushers in the semis. May you all reach the grand finals and win the coveted SEA Games spots!