MANILA -- The Philippines has already produced some chess grandmasters in the past but these are not yet enough to beef up the country’s stock in the global arena.

Prospero Pichay, National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president, said he is aiming to raise the country’s current rank from 35 to 20th place in five years, although this can only be achieved by extending more funds to budding Filipino woodpushers.

“If we only have the funds, I think we’ll be in the Top 10 right now,” he told reporters.

“We have a lot of young players right now who can be future Grandmasters, but for them to earn their norms, they need to continuously compete in different tournaments which also cost a lot,” Pichay added.

The Surigao del Sur congressman cited the case of Vietnam and Iran, which have consistently shored up their ratings after receiving at least $1million allocations from their respective governments.

Vietnam is now just one breath away from the Philippines at no. 36 while Iran is not so far at no. 46. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)