‘Let the games begin:’ Pasig City hosts Chess Festival 2022 

Published September 23, 2022, 7:17 PM

by Khriscielle Yalao

Twenty elite chess teams from across the country rallied forces on Friday, Sept. 23, as they set out to compete in the three-day Chess Festival 2022, hosted by the Pasig City local government in collaboration with the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP).

The Chess Festival opened on Friday, Sept. 23, and will end on Sunday, Sept. 25.

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto and Congressman Roman Romulo graced the opening ceremony, held at the Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Ortigas, Pasig City from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Other officials from affiliate organizations present at the event were PCAP Commissioner Paul Elauria, Games and Amusements Board Officer-in-Charge Ermar U. Benitez, Asian Chess Federation Executive Director Toti Abundo, and Ortigas Lan Corporation President Junie Jalandoni.

Mayor Sotto warmly welcomed the players to the city. He shared his love for chess himself, praising it for its inclusiveness.

He said the local government readily supports any and all sports engagements in the city, and are ready to facilitate activities that would help the sports community in the new normal.

“Kaya po buo ang suporta natin sa sports [ay] dahil alam natin na pag malakas at na-appreciate ang sports, we have a vibrant, healthy community (We fully support sports because we know that a strong appreciation of sports breeds a vibrant, healthy community),” Sotto said.

The Chess Festival 2022 is the “first and only government-licensed professional chess league in the world.”

This is the first time the nation’s “best chess players and professional chess players” are meeting face-to-face after conducting the chess conferences online for two years throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, the festival will open at 9 a.m. and close at 8:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, the final day of the festival will be from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Aside from the simultaneous exhibition games, the three-day festival will include raffle draws, awarding of players, and lectures for aspiring chess players aged 17 and below.

Throughout the festival, there will be meet-and-greets with famous chess masters such as Grandmaster Joey Antonio, Grandmaster elect Ronald Dableo, International Master Chito Garma, International Master Idelfonso Datu, International Master Ricardo de Guzman, and Woman International Master Marie Antoinette San Diego.