Shell to end ac­tive chess pro­gram

Cebu Daily News - - SPORTS - By Glen­dale Rosal COR­RE­SPON­DENT

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.

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