“Pandemic Possibilities: A non-stop game of Online Chess”

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Filipinos are unstoppable when it comes to sports and they highly showed it by chess players though most sporting activities in the aftermath of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are at a standstill.

The Philippines National Chess Federation (NCFP) continues its programs by conducting online chess tournaments after Enhanced Community Quarantine was enforced three weeks ago by the Government.

The aim is to provide players with an option to remaining competitive as on – the-board tournaments are delayed or cancelled because of the global health crisis.

The NCFP sponsored the first Philippine National Bullet Chess Championship being held at the online chess application lichess.org where the 10-leg tournament includes more than P200,000 gross cash reward.

The tournament is held every Saturday, with more than 447 named and untitled players including those based abroad drawing the third leg of the last weekend.

Grandmasters Mark Paragua, Joey Antonio, Banjo Barcenilla, Darwin Laylo; Foreign Masters Daniel Quizon, Paulo Bersamina, Jan Emmanuel García; FIDE Masters Sander Severino and Alekhine Nouri, Female Grandmaster Janelle Frayna and WIM Bernadette Galas to name just a few.

Various chess organizations in the country follow suit by organizing their own tournaments, including female tournaments.

Grandmasters Mark Paragua, Joey Antonio, Banjo Barcenilla, Darwin Laylo; Foreign Masters Daniel Quizon, Paulo Bersamina, Jan Emmanuel García; FIDE Masters Sander Severino and Alekhine Nouri, Female Grandmaster Janelle Frayna and WIM Bernadette Galas to name just a few.

Various chess organizations in the country follow suit by organizing their own tournaments, including female tournaments.

Now there are at least two to three online chess tournaments that Filipino players can take part in every day, ranging from bullet, blitz, to Fischer-Random games.

Many tournaments take place at bullet events where players are forced to resist computer assistance when teaching awareness of patterns, which is critical in the sport.

The chess community’s strong response, NCFP executive director Cliburn Orbe expressed that they’ll continue to keep the online program running even after the lockout is lifted.

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