ALICIA, Isabela—National Chess Federation of the Philippines Region II Director Mayor Joel Amos Alejandro officially opened the 2023 Philippine National Children, Juniors and Senior Chess Championships at the Community Center here on Thursday.
Mayor Alejandro, a chess aficionado himself, said it was the Alicia’s fist time to host a National Chess Championship.
“It is an opportunity for individuals, who have interest and potential in chess to muster greatness and competitiveness in this historic event through a mental sport,” Alejandro said. “I am confident that Alicia will soon become Isabela’s Chess Capital.”
“In addition to chess sport, we will ensure to roll out programs and activities like table tennis, lawn tennis, sepak takraw, among other sports, that are inclusive and accessible to every Aliciano,” the added Alejandro, who was named Honorary National Master during the opening program.
The tournament has 148 registered players, 82 from the Junior Division and 48 in the Children category. Also at stake are national master and woman national master titles in the U-20 and U-12 age divisions.
The International Chess Federation (FIDE)-sanctioned tournament will be played in a Swiss-system format over nine rounds, with a standard time control of 90 minutes and 30-second increments.
The event was made possible through the assistance of chairman/president of the NCFP president Prospero Pichay Jr. and Chief Executive Officer and Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales. It is also backed by Philippine Sport Commission chairman Richard Bachmann and Philippine Olympic Committee president Mayor Abraham Tolentino.
The chessfest is expected to provide a venue for young chess enthusiasts to showcase their abilities, foster camaraderie among participants and pave the way for the development of competitive chess in Region II.