Last year, the Venezuelan government launched two projects to boost the popularity of chess in the country. This year, they have something called 2006 Mision Ajedrez - "a program to massively foster the practice of chess in the South American nation".
From Prensa Latina.
And in the Philippines sports pages today is the ordeal of NCFP head, Go Teng Kok. The Manila Standard reports: "DESCRIBING his ordeal as the 'longest 45 minutes of my life,' national athletics and chess chief Go Teng Kok survived what could have been a fatal airplane crash aboard a Singapore Airlines flight recently."
The aircraft, on its way to Manila from Singapore, had apparently suffered a malfunction in its landing system which forced it to go back. In the news report, it seems that Go hadn't helped the situation when he pulled out his cell phone to call relatives thinking it was his last few moments! Clearly, our man Go is highly imaginative.
The paper quoted him as saying: "Parang ’yung pelikula ni Bruce Willis (Die Hard). Ang daming fire trucks and police na naghihintay habang nagla-land kami." [Translation: It was like a Bruce Willis movie (Die Hard). There were a lot of fire trucks and police waiting while we were approaching to land]. That's Pinoys for you - so dramatic! And I'm the same.
Once, on a flight from London to Bangkok, my aircraft suddenly struck turbulence. I immediately put on my shoes, secured my luggage, my passport, everything - thinking that was it! The guy next to me just looked at me funny and shrugged, then went back to sleep.