Garcia withholds Wesley So’s monthly allowance
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Sports Commission is adopting a wait-and-see attitude on chess phenomenon Wesley So.
PSC chair Richie Garcia said Tuesday that the monthly allowance of So has been temporarily withheld by the sports-funding agency, pending the resolution of the citizenship status of the 20-year-old Grandmaster.
So, now ranked 15th in the world after winning the Capablanca Memorial in Cuba last month, has already applied for US citizenship to chase his dream of becoming a world champion.
Classified as a priority athlete, he receives a monthly take of P40,000 from the PSC. “For now, we’ve decided to hold his allowance.
We will act accordingly depending on his decision,” said Garcia during the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum at Shakey’s Malate.
Garcia said they would lift the freeze order and continue his training allowance should So opt to play for the Philippines in the World Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway, in August.
“It’s really up to him,” said Garcia in the weekly forum backed by Accel and Pagcor. “I wish him luck. If he thinks it’s better for his career, we’re not taking it against him.”
By changing federations, So will be asked to pay 50,000 euros (nearly P3 million) to the National Chess Federation of the Philippines or go through a waiting period of two years imposed by the World Chess Federation (Fide).
As a result, So would be prohibited from participating in official Fide events, including the Olympiad.