Thursday, January 17, 2008

Shots Fired in Philippine Chess War

The first shots have just been fired in what is set to be a war of attrition between two opposing camps within the National Chess Federation of the Philippines. The country's Inquirer paper reports that a Manila judged signed a "temporary restraining order" stopping an NCFP group headed by Congressman Prospero Pichay from holding their elections scheduled for this coming Saturday.

As is only to be expected, this latest conflict already has one of its first negative side-effects. In his latest email newsletter that's just hit my inbox, the tireless Filipino chess aficionado Manny Benitez writes:

I have not included the news report that a court judge has issued a temporary restraining order stopping the NCFP's election set for Saturday. This is because I just read it in my favorite newspaper. I am waiting for word from Atty Samuel Estimo who is one of my readers who used to send me press releases about the Saturday series of Executives and Challengers tournaments. Surprisingly, however, since I made known my stand against a possible schism within the NCFP, he has stopped sending me his press releases.

For the record, my objection to any moves that tend to split the federation into factions is based on the principle that squabbles between chess leaders are not only self-destructive but also are a hindrance to our efforts in propagating the game we all love. A house divided against itself will collapse, so says the Good Book. Personalities come and go, but chess lives on as one of the most wonderful gifts of God to mankind!

Knowing Sammy as a devout Christian, I firmly believe that he will take steps to mend fences and to desist from taling any action that could further destroy what most of us are trying to build: a strong and united chess community that will produce champions, not a disunited chess community that keeps fighting itself and producing patzers when not squabbling among themselves, often about petty matters.

Gens una sumus! We are one family!

I may now just be a lapsed Catholic, but we still humbly agree with Mr Benitez.

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