Wesley So among the top seeded
Asia pays homage to its late great chess leader when the first-ever FIDE president Florencio Campomanes Memorial chess championships reel off this Saturday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
No less than FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who succeeded Campomanes as head of the world’s governing body for chess in 2005, will grace the 3:30 p.m. opening ceremony of the tournament which offers a guaranteed cash prize of $100,000.
Ilyumzhinov, the multi-millionaire leader from Republic of Kalmykia and a personal friend of Campomanes, is expected to make the ceremonial moves along with National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero Pichay.
Also expected to attend the opening ceremony are Chinese Ambassador Liu Jianchao, FIDE general-secretary Ignatius Leung, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Richie Garcia, NCFP secretary-general and Tagaytay City Abraham Tolentino and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino.
GM Wesley So, the brightest chess player the country has ever produced, and Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre, a personal favorite of Campomanes, will lead the Filipino challenge in this nine-round competition.