To remind our readers - the trio have opted not to play in protest against the use of a Swiss system format and, instead, calling for a round robin tournament.
The 3 grandmasters have now found it necessary to respond to some criticisms. We publish below the complete letter signed by our 3 GMs. Thanks to journo Ignacio Dee for this tip.
LETTER TO THE SPORTS EDITORS
At the outset, we wish to clarify the erroneous impression that we boycotted the ongoing Swiss System eliminator for the RP team to the 2006 Doha Asian Games,Qatar slated to be held on December 1-15.
We are chess gladiators through and through and we do not run away from a fair fight especially if the country's honor is on the line.
We were willing to earn our slots in the RP team through elimination but not under the Swiss System because it is flawed, dangerous and demeaning to our stature as grandmasters.
Lest we be misunderstood of abandoning flag and country, we are willing to play under any format that is reliable such as Round Robin among others, which we adopted in forming our team that achieved our best ever 7th place finish in the 1988 Thessaloniki World Chess Olympiad, Greece.
In fact, most of the strong federations do not conduct elimination tournaments anymore for members of their national teams. They just seed their grandmasters and top rated players like, China, India, Indonesia, Qatar, Vietnam, the many Russian Republics and practically all countries in the world.
Be that as it may, we welcome the idea of giving a chance to chess upstarts to represent the country via a credible and universally accepted format.
We hope this will clear the air on our decision not to play in the Swiss elimination. But if this will not satisfy the "doubting Thomases", that is their prerogative. We only wish to clear our names because silence usually means admission of guilt.
To us, we earned our GM title the hardest of ways with sweat and blood and, self-respect dictates that we should preserve its dignity.
Rest assured that our decision is not grounded on personal or other selfish considerations.
Thank you very much.
And a quick update on the tournament. After 7 rounds, here are the standings;
1. D. Laylo 6.5 points;
2-5. O. Dimakiling, N. Mariano, R. Nolte, R. Bitoon 6;
6-14 J. Gomez, M. Maga, R. Dableo, R. Bancod, Y. Ranola, B. Nadera, R. Llavanes, A. Cabe, A. Milagrosa 5.5;
15-27 E. Senador , C. Castellano, E. Agagon, J. Aquino, A. Branzuela, R. Portogalera, J. Nodado, N. Villanueva, M. Meneses, R. Perez, J. Salubre, R. Salcedo, R. Nuttal 5.
Swiss tournament should be semifinal for the state championship that is played in round robin. Best players from ch. (say 3) and next (2?) from the rating list should play. 6th player can be choosen by team captain, usually they award this spot to perspective junior.
GMs Torre, Antonio and Paragua, As a Filipino chess aficionado, I am deeply saddened to know that you 3 Muskeeters are not representing our country in Doha. What a pity that the royal game of chess has been invaded by the dirt of politics. Ever since, I am truly in favor of seeding GMs in our RP Team, kung pwede nga lang ay kayo nila GMs Bong and Nelson ang "first five" ng bayan, eh! That would be our own version of a Dream Team - 5 GMs that is sure to send shivers to our Asian brothers. The last time I checked, it takes 3 GM norms (meaning 3 top finishes in an international tournament) to be awarded a GM title, isn't that better than any selection tournament? Check+
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