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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:26 am 
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Location: JARO,Iloilo
Chess 960 is better than classical chess.
Hinde kailangan ang second at memory sa previous game. Advantage kay wesley dahil yung iba nag rely sa mga coach. Unlike wesley.

Chess 960/360 is a pure chess base on strategy with out preparation.

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Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others He who envies others does not achieve peace. - Buddha


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:00 am 
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Old article worth reading...


_________


How the Philippines managed to lose a potential world chess champion in Wesley So
by DODO CATACUTAN
JUL 13, 2017


EUGENE Torre knew instinctively there was something special about this kid competing in a 10-and-under chess tournament upon seeing him solve a complex chess endgame faster than most of us find our way around Manila's horrendous traffic.

"I said it a long time ago, this kid is a rare find," Asia's first grandmaster said.

Wesley So had more or less that same wow effect on veteran journalist Ignacio Dee, who, after seeing So dismantle the opposition one by one in his age group back in 2001, remembered murmuring to himself, "This kid doesn't belong in this tournament."

Over a decade later, So, 23, has not only fulfilled expectations, but he has also reached rarefied air in his sport. He became a full-fledged grandmaster at 14 - the ninth youngest player ever to do so - and in a phenomenal rise over the last few years has sky-rocketed to super-GM status.

So is now the world's No. 2-ranked player and, after winning the Board 3 gold medal in the Chess Olympiad last year and his first US chess championships title just last April, saw his ELO rating soar past 2800 - a level only 12 players have reached in the sport's long, rich history (For comparison, the highest ELO rating Torre ever reached back in 1983 was 2580; Bobby Fischer's was 2785).

There's just one hitch: he now represents the US, not the Philippines, in tournaments.

How the Philippines discovered a chess player described by Star sportswriter Joey Villar as a once-in-a-generation athlete in the mold of Manny Pacquiao and somehow managed to lose him is another head-scratching moment which best captures the sorry state that Philippine sports is in.

Getting to the root of the problem felt like a chess puzzle in itself. To begin with, So isn't easy to read. His life is complicated as it is, and it's always a challenge to read how the mind of a genius works. While chess may be easy for him, figuring out his life away from the chessboard obviously wasn't.

It is no secret in the local chess community that So, like most prodigies, didn't have what you would consider a normal childhood. He soon became estranged with his Filipino-Chinese family - the gap widening after they immigrated to Canada and left the chess whiz alone in Manila.

But as complex as the situation was, So himself was certain he wouldn't have left had it not been for the politics that has permeated every single aspect of Philippine society, sports included.

"I was thinking about it for a while but unconvinced I should do it," So told SPIN.ph when asked what prompted the decision to switch allegiance to the US chess federation in an email interview through Lotis Key, a former actress who now stands as So's adoptive mother in the US.

"But it was almost impossible to get ahead in the Philippines. So I thought I should just use my chess to get an education in the States and maybe find another job," So added.

To be fair, So wasn't entirely deprived of support during his years in the Philippines, receiving backing from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) headed by Rep. Prospero Pichay, and chess patrons like Reginald Tee, who took So under his wings.

The NCFP, in fact, insisted that So still received a monthly allowance reserved for elite national athletes from the PSC even after moving to the US on the invitation of former women's world champion Susan Polgar to play for Webster University in Missouri.


Yet there was no question about the disenchantment over the system that So bottled up inside for so long until it reached breaking point after one incident where, in his own words, he got caught in the middle of a feud among the 'kings of the sports bodies.'

That happened back in 2013 after So's gold medal from the World Universiade Games in Kazan, Russia had some quarters raising the possibility of a seven-figure incentive from the government. He got none.

In denying So a P1-million bonanza, the PSC explained the Universiade wasn't among the international events where gold medalists are guaranteed monetary incentives from the government under the old RA No. 9644, otherwise known as the Athletes' Incentives Act.

It didn't help that So's cause never received backing from the Philippine Olympic Committee, which, in the first place, refused to sanction the Universiade trip since the delegation was sent by a group whose members had previously clashed with the POC over the long-drawn basketball leadership row.

Amid the power play, So was left holding an empty bag.

"To be poor and unconnected in the Philippines is to be trash for rich people to step on," So said.

"Because of a quarrel between the kings of the sports bodies, not only did the country refuse to acknowledge my efforts, they refused to give me the P1 million promised to athletes who bring home a gold medal."



According to Key, So grew so disillusioned that he almost quit the sport. But the chess whiz somehow found renewed vigor upon his return to the US where he eventually left Webster University and moved to Minnesota to stay with Key's family.

His game took a turn for the better, but the anger hardly waned. By 2014, the NCFP, according to its former executive director GM Jason Gonzales, received an email from world chess body Fide informing them of So's desire to switch federations under rules unique to chess allowing non-citizens to represent countries in tournaments.

Their hope bolstered by assurances from people close to So, Gonzales said NCFP officials were so confident the GM won't make the move that they didn't even bother to respond to the Fide email, or, at the very least, collect the 50,000-euro fee for players switching federations.

Six months later, the break was complete; So was flying the US flag in tournaments overseas.


Disappointing as So's departure may be, Torre, 65, was quick to put a positive spin on the development, saying So wouldn't have reached such heady heights had he not packed his bags to go to the US.

"So what if he's representing the US federation?" said the country's preeminent chess figure. "Sa akin, I look at it positively. Kung di nangyari 'yan, baka di n'ya naabot ang naaabot n'ya ngayon. Nag-improve s'ya because he was exposed to the level of competition there."

More than the exposure to top-level competition and the support from the US federation that So now enjoys, Torre said he was happy to see the chess whiz find 'peace of mind' in the US as well as in Lotis Key, husband Bambi Kabigting, and their daughter the family he has always longed for.

"Wes knows what's best for him. Kung best position nga sa chess, na-master n'ya, sa buhay pa kaya," said Torre. The endgame he wishes for So, he added, is a "happy ending for his biological family and his second family."

Key said: "You need more than talent to rise to a world-class level. You need a stable life, financial support, physical training, experienced coaches, equipment … You can’t get these when no one really cares about chess in the Philippines."

As for So's chess, Torre said there was no denying the major leap in his game. Wesley has always been hailed for never, ever making any major blunder during games and his run of 67 games unbeaten this year is proof of that. But what caught Torre's eye was So's newfound ability to turn even the slightest endgame advantages into wins.

"Na-notice ko, konting lamang, nako-convert na n'ya ngayon into wins," said Torre, pointing out that players of So's stature need wins to maintain their ELO rating. "Kung tagilid naman, he's resourceful. In the few times na tumagilid, nakikita ang saving line."

If So maintains his current ranking, Dee said the Bacoor, Cavite-born chess player is in line to get a spot in the candidates matches for the right to challenge Norway's Magnus Carlsen, who has been world champion since 2013.

Torre and Dee said the quest for the world championship would require an unprecedented effort from So's camp, both in terms of logistics - coaches, seconds, E-books - and on the chessboard itself. But the two also agree that So has what it takes to be a world champion.

Dee pointed out that a few years back, Carlsen himself hired So to be one of the 'helpers' in his camp while he prepared for a major tournament.

"He's ripe to be a world champion, pero mahirap ang dadaanan," said Torre.

Key said: "We are Christians. That means our confidence is not in ourselves but in our Lord. The top chess players of the world are enormously gifted. Wesley works hard to compete at this level and if it is His will for Wesley to shine in this arena, then he will.

"If despite the hard work Wesley does not progress, then the Lord will open another door. We don’t worry much about it. Advancing in anything is a step by step, sometimes inch by inch proposition. No one does this overnight."

Notwithstanding the US switch, So remains very popular in the land of his birth. Chess forums tracking So's games online enjoy a wide following from Filipinos, Dee said, while a video about him done recently by the History Channel has been viewed over 1.7 million times on Facebook alone.

Like most Filipino chess fans, Torre is not giving up on So, clinging to hope from seeing So wear the traditional barong tagalog during awarding ceremonies, which they see not just as a nod to his roots but as an affirmation that the Philippines remains close to his heart.

"Tampo lang siguro, hindi galit," Torre said.

But for now at least, So, who has yet to acquire US citizenship, or not yet anyway, sounded happy to be in the US - and as far away as possible from the Philippines and what he described as the 'endless cycle of corruption' back home that he has come to abhor.

"I am a true Filipino who cares about the future of Filipino children growing up in an endless cycle of corruption and zero opportunity," he said in an email. "My heart aches for talented people there who because of poverty haven’t any hope for their futures."

Is there a chance that he'll come back and represent the Philippines again in the future, he was asked.

"What for? To endorse corruption?" he said. "Anyway, you wouldn’t even be writing this article about me if I was still there."

Probably true.

_________________
“YESTERDAY IS HISTORY, TOMORROW A MYSTERY, AND TODAY
A GIFT…THAT’S WHY IT IS CALLED THE PRESENT “.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:23 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:00 am
Posts: 1338
Location: Iloilo, Philippines
Anywhere in the world.
The success of any PINOY, irregardless of his/her nationality or for what Association he/she may be representing is the success and pride of every Pinoy and the whole country...
Mabuhay ka Wesley....


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:13 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:33 pm
Posts: 28915
Location: Just here in front of my computer
Wesley So is Filipino no matter what.

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Let's get ready to Rumble in the Jungle when the bells will Jingle to start the Bungle!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:04 am 
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Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 1:43 pm
Posts: 6050
Location: near you
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/20 ... 87FcokBuZY

TESTIMONY
I'm a Rare Breed: An Elite Chess Player Who’s Open About His Faith
Why I follow Jesus publicly, even when people warn that my career will suffer.
WESLEY SO
AUGUST 18, 2017

On the small planet where elite chess players dwell, very few people worship Jesus Christ. If anyone discovers that you’re one of those “superstitious,” “narrow-minded idiots,” you’re likely to see nasty comments accumulate on your Facebook fan page. On a regular basis, I receive emails from strangers lecturing me about the dangers of following Jesus. Out of pity or disgust, they wonder how I, the world’s second-ranked chess player, can be so “weak-minded.”

I have been assured that identifying openly as a Christian will interfere with sponsorship, support, and invitations to events. I have been told that spending time reading my Bible, praying, and going to church will inevitably weaken my performance. People plead with me to at least keep quiet. They say thanking God publicly makes me look ridiculous.

So why did I make such a risky move?

Playing it Safe
The Philippines, where I grew up, is a country of God-seekers. People mention God all the time, in just about every context. Everyone believes he exists, even if they’re unwilling to claim much more than that.

As a child, I was informed that you needed to be a good person so that God would give you certain blessings, like food and jobs—which are very important in such a poor country. But this confused me, because it seemed like the bad people received more than the good people. I knew of many famous crooks who went to church, wore religious symbols, and got tattoos of Jesus or a crucifix—and they were pretty rich.

Clearly, many popular beliefs and practices were less a matter of worshiping God than of appeasing the god of luck. One legend had it that if you rubbed a particular part of a particular statue, you would be blessed. If you committed a heinous crime, you could make a large donation to some saint or crawl on your knees to the altar, begging for forgiveness.

As a child, I decided to play it safe; I would recite the right words, and I would make the sign of the cross at the right time. But I never felt connected to God in any meaningful way. In fact, I was mostly afraid he would send me to hell. Deep down, the whole thing made no sense.

My New Family
I have played chess since age six or seven. At first, it was just a fun game I could win. As I grew up, I kept on winning. But the Philippines offers little support for chess players. (On the whole, the people prefer basketball.) There are many excellent chess players in the Philippines, but chess is regarded as a poor man’s game. Powerful, wealthy people who could help chess players advance in society just ignore them.

Article continues below
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Despite these disadvantages, I kept on playing, representing my country in regional tournaments and trying to make some money here and there. But to become an elite chess player, you need to invest in your development, and I could never afford to hire a coach or secure serious training. I used to study from newspaper clippings because my family could not afford real books.

At around age 16, I sank into depression. Even though I recognized my special talent for playing chess, there seemed to be no point in developing it. Whether I worked hard or not, no one would care. It felt like there was no realistic hope of pursuing a career as a chess professional. Out of frustration, I stopped studying, and my player rating began to slide.

One day, I got the sudden urge to leave. I was 18 years old, and I had lived on my own for two years. At that point, I had received an offer to play on the chess team of a small American university, and I decided I should take the offer and, at the very least, get a degree to prepare me for the future.

Then I met the people who would became my foster family. They were Christians, and in 2013, we got together for a small private dinner. After that, I began flying to Minnesota every few weeks for additional visits. Lotis, my foster mother, could sense my unhappiness. After a while, she asked me what I wanted to do in life, and I replied that I loved playing chess but didn’t think I was talented enough to translate that into a full-time career.

“How do you know?” she asked. “You’ve never had the luxury of devoting yourself to chess full time. You’ve always had to worry about making money, finding your next meal, even figuring out where to live.” Lotis told me to focus on chess alone for the next two years—the family would support me any way it could. And if I didn’t show improvement, she said, I could always return to school.

By the end of 2014, I had quit college, moved in with my foster family, and launched a professional chess career. Most importantly, I had also entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ. It all happened so fast that we still look back at those early days in disbelief.

Since my foster parents were mature Christians, it must have been obvious when I first moved in that my faith wasn’t as sophisticated as theirs. They never condemned me for this, but they did insist that living as a member of the family meant abiding by certain house rules and customs. I would need to read my Bible every night and faithfully accompany them to church on the weekend. Over the first few months, I would fall asleep during every sermon—not because they were boring, but because all the changes in my life were so stressful and overwhelming.

Article continues below
I never minded going to church, and somehow I managed to absorb real wisdom from those sermon fragments. I also got very interested in reading the little Bible I was given. Whenever I had questions I would ask my foster parents, and their answers were always simple and made good sense. They taught me how to find answers in the Bible myself and use it to check what others said. The Bible was the final authority, deeper and wiser than the internet and more truthful than any of my friends.

Before long, I was practicing my faith in a more intense way. My new family calls Christianity the “thinking man’s religion.” They encouraged me to ask questions, search for answers, and really wrestle with what I discovered. All the while, I would observe how they lived their lives, taking note of how they spent their time and money. They worked hard, they always went the extra mile to help others, and they made every effort to resist immorality. I knew I wanted the kind of simple, contented, God-fearing life they enjoyed.

The God of Everything
People in the chess world sometimes want to know whether I think God makes me win matches. Yes. And sometimes he makes me lose them too. He is the God of chess and, more importantly, the God of everything. Win or lose, I give him the glory. Of course, it’s hard when I don’t get what I want, the way it is for any child whose father says no. But even when I don’t understand God’s ways, I’m confident that his vision is much bigger than my own.

Instead of worrying about the future, I try to focus on the work God has put before me. Right now it’s chess, so I study it diligently and play it as well as possible. Will I rise to become the world champion one day? Only God knows for sure. In the meantime, I know that he is a generous and loving father, always showering me with more blessings than I could possibly deserve. I content myself with playing one match at a time and practicing gratitude for my daily bread.

Wesley So is a Filipino and American chess grandmaster. He is the current United States chess champion.

_________________
Improve your mind and your mind will improve you. - Anonymous.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:15 pm
Posts: 1771
Location: The no-nonsense zone
nandi wrote:
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/september/im-rare-breed-elite-chess-player-whos-open-about-his-faith.html?fbclid=IwAR1TRW2FMHi_TlIiXOOnt52aLixU-Sapzns0E4BMSEPdgY3f487FcokBuZY

TESTIMONY
I'm a Rare Breed: An Elite Chess Player Who’s Open About His Faith
Why I follow Jesus publicly, even when people warn that my career will suffer.
WESLEY SO
AUGUST 18, 2017

On the small planet where elite chess players dwell, very few people worship Jesus Christ. If anyone discovers that you’re one of those “superstitious,” “narrow-minded idiots,” you’re likely to see nasty comments accumulate on your Facebook fan page. On a regular basis, I receive emails from strangers lecturing me about the dangers of following Jesus. Out of pity or disgust, they wonder how I, the world’s second-ranked chess player, can be so “weak-minded.”

I have been assured that identifying openly as a Christian will interfere with sponsorship, support, and invitations to events. I have been told that spending time reading my Bible, praying, and going to church will inevitably weaken my performance. People plead with me to at least keep quiet. They say thanking God publicly makes me look ridiculous.

So why did I make such a risky move?

Playing it Safe
The Philippines, where I grew up, is a country of God-seekers. People mention God all the time, in just about every context. Everyone believes he exists, even if they’re unwilling to claim much more than that.

As a child, I was informed that you needed to be a good person so that God would give you certain blessings, like food and jobs—which are very important in such a poor country. But this confused me, because it seemed like the bad people received more than the good people. I knew of many famous crooks who went to church, wore religious symbols, and got tattoos of Jesus or a crucifix—and they were pretty rich.

Clearly, many popular beliefs and practices were less a matter of worshiping God than of appeasing the god of luck. One legend had it that if you rubbed a particular part of a particular statue, you would be blessed. If you committed a heinous crime, you could make a large donation to some saint or crawl on your knees to the altar, begging for forgiveness.

As a child, I decided to play it safe; I would recite the right words, and I would make the sign of the cross at the right time. But I never felt connected to God in any meaningful way. In fact, I was mostly afraid he would send me to hell. Deep down, the whole thing made no sense.

My New Family
I have played chess since age six or seven. At first, it was just a fun game I could win. As I grew up, I kept on winning. But the Philippines offers little support for chess players. (On the whole, the people prefer basketball.) There are many excellent chess players in the Philippines, but chess is regarded as a poor man’s game. Powerful, wealthy people who could help chess players advance in society just ignore them.

Article continues below
Free Newsletters
Get the best from CT editors, delivered straight to your inbox!Stay informed with updates from CT Direct, CT Weekly, CT Women, Books & Culture and Gallireport newsletters
Email Address
submit
MORE NEWSLETTERS
Despite these disadvantages, I kept on playing, representing my country in regional tournaments and trying to make some money here and there. But to become an elite chess player, you need to invest in your development, and I could never afford to hire a coach or secure serious training. I used to study from newspaper clippings because my family could not afford real books.

At around age 16, I sank into depression. Even though I recognized my special talent for playing chess, there seemed to be no point in developing it. Whether I worked hard or not, no one would care. It felt like there was no realistic hope of pursuing a career as a chess professional. Out of frustration, I stopped studying, and my player rating began to slide.

One day, I got the sudden urge to leave. I was 18 years old, and I had lived on my own for two years. At that point, I had received an offer to play on the chess team of a small American university, and I decided I should take the offer and, at the very least, get a degree to prepare me for the future.

Then I met the people who would became my foster family. They were Christians, and in 2013, we got together for a small private dinner. After that, I began flying to Minnesota every few weeks for additional visits. Lotis, my foster mother, could sense my unhappiness. After a while, she asked me what I wanted to do in life, and I replied that I loved playing chess but didn’t think I was talented enough to translate that into a full-time career.

“How do you know?” she asked. “You’ve never had the luxury of devoting yourself to chess full time. You’ve always had to worry about making money, finding your next meal, even figuring out where to live.” Lotis told me to focus on chess alone for the next two years—the family would support me any way it could. And if I didn’t show improvement, she said, I could always return to school.

By the end of 2014, I had quit college, moved in with my foster family, and launched a professional chess career. Most importantly, I had also entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ. It all happened so fast that we still look back at those early days in disbelief.

Since my foster parents were mature Christians, it must have been obvious when I first moved in that my faith wasn’t as sophisticated as theirs. They never condemned me for this, but they did insist that living as a member of the family meant abiding by certain house rules and customs. I would need to read my Bible every night and faithfully accompany them to church on the weekend. Over the first few months, I would fall asleep during every sermon—not because they were boring, but because all the changes in my life were so stressful and overwhelming.

Article continues below
I never minded going to church, and somehow I managed to absorb real wisdom from those sermon fragments. I also got very interested in reading the little Bible I was given. Whenever I had questions I would ask my foster parents, and their answers were always simple and made good sense. They taught me how to find answers in the Bible myself and use it to check what others said. The Bible was the final authority, deeper and wiser than the internet and more truthful than any of my friends.

Before long, I was practicing my faith in a more intense way. My new family calls Christianity the “thinking man’s religion.” They encouraged me to ask questions, search for answers, and really wrestle with what I discovered. All the while, I would observe how they lived their lives, taking note of how they spent their time and money. They worked hard, they always went the extra mile to help others, and they made every effort to resist immorality. I knew I wanted the kind of simple, contented, God-fearing life they enjoyed.

The God of Everything
People in the chess world sometimes want to know whether I think God makes me win matches. Yes. And sometimes he makes me lose them too. He is the God of chess and, more importantly, the God of everything. Win or lose, I give him the glory. Of course, it’s hard when I don’t get what I want, the way it is for any child whose father says no. But even when I don’t understand God’s ways, I’m confident that his vision is much bigger than my own.

Instead of worrying about the future, I try to focus on the work God has put before me. Right now it’s chess, so I study it diligently and play it as well as possible. Will I rise to become the world champion one day? Only God knows for sure. In the meantime, I know that he is a generous and loving father, always showering me with more blessings than I could possibly deserve. I content myself with playing one match at a time and practicing gratitude for my daily bread.

Wesley So is a Filipino and American chess grandmaster. He is the current United States chess champion.


A great and revealing read about the faith of a genius. God bless Wes. Providence honors those who give glory to the Creator, and not fricken religion or greedy or megalomaniacal cult leaders.


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