Shell to end active chess program
A TOTAL of 300 young wood pushers from around the Visayas compete in the two-day 25th Shell Active Chess Regional Eliminations Cebu leg which started yesterday at the SM City Cebu event center.
The Cebu leg is the last of five legs held all throughout the year and will culminate in the grand finals on Oct. 7-8 at the SM Mall of Asia in Metro Manila.
An air of sadness was tangible during yesterday’s opening as this will be the last year for the country’s biggest grassroots level chess competition after Pilipinas Shell decided to divert its youth development program to another activity which will be announced soon. “Be thank- ful and proud that you are part of this final year of Shell Active Chess but worry not because there will be another program that Shell will be doing. As we close this chapter of our grassroots program, we hope that we were able to help the youth improve their focus, discipline and problem solving skills through this competition,” said Sankie Simbulan, Shell’s Social Investment Manager during the opening program.
Since its inception in 1992, Shell Active Chess has produced world class wood pushers including Super Grand Master (GM) Wesley So, Cebuano GMs Richard Bitoon and Oliver Dimakiling.
It has also helped numerous players become successful in their respective careers after helping them land scholarships from top universities.
“We have produced a lot of chess masters over the years and on October, we will have our finale where our very own GMs will be there to support the grand finalists,” added Simbulan.
Only nine players from the Cebu leg will advance to the grand finals where a total of 48 qualifiers from the five legs will battle for supremacy in the kiddies, juniors and seniors categories.
According to tournament director Alex Dinoy, Cebu is one of the biggest legs in the Shell Active Chess in terms of attendance. In fact, Dinoy, who’s been handling the tournament since 1995 revealed that on 1998, they were able to attract 1,500 participants in Cebu. The event adopts a nine-round Swiss system format with the first four rounds being competed as of press time.