PNoy invites to grace Int’l chess meet

PRESIDENT Aquino has been invited to be the special guest of honor during the formal opening of the first Florencio Campomanes Memorial chess championship scheduled Aug. 28-Sept. 3 at the Ninoy  Aquino Stadium.

President Aquino is expected to make the ceremonial moves along with  FIDE president  Kirsan Ilyumzhinov during the 3:30 p.m. opening ceremony.

Also expected to attend the formal opening ceremony are Philippine Olympic  Committee (POC) president  Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Richie Garcia, National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president Prospero “Butch” Pichay, NCFP secretary-general Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino.

Also invited to attend are veteran sports editors and writers who have covered Campomanes  beginning from his rise as FIDE president.

“This will be another  milestone in local chess history,” said Pichay, who  is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the success of both the sixth Pichay Cup international chess tournament on Aug. 21-26 and the Campomanes Memorial on Aug. 28-Sept. 3.

“In fact, the Pichay Cup and the Campomanes Memorial  tournaments  offer  the biggest-ever cash prizes in history, perhaps even higher than the  prestigious Aeroflot Open,” added Pichay.

If President Aquino finds time from his busy schedule to attend the opening ceremony on Aug. 28,  he will be the second Aquino to attend an opening of an important chess competition to be held in the country.

President Aquino’s mother,  the late President  Cory Aquino,  was also the guest of  honor during the opening of  the World Chess Olympiad held at the Philippine International Convention Center  (PICC) in 1992.

In the Pichay Cup, which opens on Aug. 21 also at the Nioy Aquino Stadium,  the invited  guests are Cojuangco, Garcia and Tolentino.

Heading the early list of foreign players seeing action are GMs  Ni Hua,  Li Chao and Zhao Jun, all of  China;  Aleksei Aleksandrov of Belarus;  Murtas Kazhgalayev of Kazakhstan, Anton Fillipov of Uzbekistan,  Tamaz Gelashvili and Merab Gagunashvili of Georgia,  Ehsan Ghaemmaghami of Iran,  Humpy Koneru and Chanda Sandipan  of India, Tigran Kotanian of Armenia, Zhang Zhong of Singapore and Eduardo Iturrizaga of Venezuela.

Also in the early list are Mikhail Ivanov of Russia, Wong Mengkong of Singapore, Jurabek Khamrakulov of Uzbekistan, Sebastian Maze of France,  GM Vadim Malathatko of Belarus,  Li Shilong of China,  Dashzegve Sharavdorj of Mongolia and  Das Neelotpal of India.

In the women’s division, the early registrants include Zhao Xue, Wang Yu, Zhang Jillin, Chen Yang and Gu Xiaobing of China;  Anna Zozulia of Belarus, Katarien Matseyko  of Ukraine,  and Atousa Pourkashiyan and Shayesteh Ghaderpour  of Iran. Radito Torres

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