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FIDE Asian Zonal

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Top chess masters from around Southeast Asia will see action in the FIDE Asian Zonal Chess Championship for men and women slated February 25 to March 5 in Tagaytay City under the auspices of the World Chess Federation (FIDE), Asian Chess Federation, National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

This was announced by Congressman Abraham Tolentino who is the FIDE and NCFP secretary- general.

“We are hosting this FIDE event to give a chance, not only for our top grandmasters to qualify, but for the many aspiring Filipinos who wish to test their skill against the best from ASEAN and neighboring countries,” Tolentino said.

The Asian Zonal is part of the FIDE World Championship cycle and will select two players to advance to the World Cup scheduled this September in Tbilisi, Georgia. The women’s champion will qualify to the Women’s World Championship.

Aside from the qualification to the World Championship cycle, at stake in the Asian Zonal is $5,000 in cash prizes.

FIDE is divided into four Continents and each Continent is subdivided into Zones. Countries in FIDE Zone 3.3 for Southeast Asia are, in alphabetical order, Brunei, Cambodia, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The previous FIDE Zone 3.3 championship was held 2015 in Ho Chi Minh city and was very successful for host Vietnam as two of their GMs qualified even against a ten-man Philippine contingent.

Previously Tagaytay City also hosted the Asian Zonals in 2013 where Filipino GM Wesley So qualified and an untitled Filipina Bernadette Galas finished a surprise second in the women’s division and earned her Women’s International Master title. Filipino GM Mark Paragua qualified in the 2011 Asian Zonals also in Tagaytay City.

Deadline for registration in the Asian Zonal is today after which a late penalty fee shall be imposed. Inquiries for the Asian Zonal may be made to NCFP Secretariat c/o Patrick Lee at telephone 0995-5421266.

Among the early registrants is balikbayan GM Rogelio Barcenilla who will return to compete in the Zonal.

Meanwhile FIDE Lecturer Casto Abundo shall give a FIDE Arbiters Seminar in Manila over the weekend of March 3, 4 and 5. The seminar is required by FIDE for those to wish to earn the FIDE Arbiter or FIDE International Arbiter title.

Applicants may email or call NCFP Secretariat.