MANILA -- The country’s seasoned chess players will go against Asia’s best with President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III being invited for the formal opening of the first Florencio Campomanes Memorial chess championship slated August 28 to September 3.

Organizers said that Aquino is expected to make the ceremonial moves along with World Chess Federation (Fide) president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov during the 3:30 p.m. opening ceremony on August 28.

The President’s mother, the late former President Corazon Aquino, also graced a similar chess tilt in 1992, when the Philippines hosted the World Chess Olympiad during the term of Campomanes as FIDE president.

“This will be another milestone in local chess history,” said Prospero Pichay, president of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), adding that his own Pichay Cup and the Campomanes Cup offer the biggest cash prizes in history.

Also expected to attend the formal opening ceremony are Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Richie Garcia, NCFP secretary-general Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)