By Rey C. Lachica
Barring an emergency meeting concerning the debilitating global coronavirus crisis, former Senate President Koko Pimentel and eight-time boxing champion Sen. Manny Pacquiao banner the Helping Hand Executive Online Chess Challenge today.
The two-day event dubbed Luzon-NCR vs VisMin Executive Challenge gathered the country’s chess-loving executives to raise funds for the struggling woodpushers.
Philippine Executive Chess Association president Dr. Fred Paez said the entry of two high-ranking governments officials is expected to add star power to the tournament that will be played online via popular app Lichess.
“We are excited because Senators Pacquiao and Pimentel will be playing according to their close associates,” said Paez. “Certainly that will add prestige to this endeavor.”
Though he’s from Cagayan de Oro City, Pimentel will spearhead the NCR-Luzon squad while Pacquiao banners the Vis-Min team.
Paez said they expect to raise more than P200,000 from the event with the second day scheduled on Thursday. Each participant will be required to pay P1,000 as registration fee.
“After learning that Senators Pacquiao and Pimentel will be playing some well-meaning friends of chess also did their share so we can help a lot of chess players who are in need of financial help,” added Paez.
Paez said the team with the highest cumulative score will be declared champion.
“But everybody is a winner here because we get to play chess while raising funds for our fellow players affected by the outbreak of this coronavirus,” said Paez.
Among the notable entries are Dr Jenny Mayor, Atty Jose and Cris Aspiras, Atty Paul Elauria, Atty Rodrigo Aquino, James Infiesto, and Fr. Vic Arellano.