So heads Team PH; Barcenilla is coach
IT’S now up to Super Grandmaster Wesley So whether to play for the country or not in the 41st Chess Olympiad slated in Tromso, Norway, next month.
As in the initial list sent by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines to the Olympiad secretariat, So— ranked 15th in the world—also headed the national team roster to the Olympiad submitted by the NCFP to the Philippine Sports Commission Thursday.
United States-based GM Catalino Sadorra, GM Oliver Barbosa, GM Eugene Torre and GM John Paul Gomez round out the Open squad coached by GM Rogelio Barcenilla Jr.
Barcenilla took the place of the 62-year-old Torre, who was in the original list as coach but was elevated as a player by virtue of his victory in the recent Battle of Grandmasters.
Woman International Master Cheradee Camacho, WIM Catherine Pereña, Woman Fide Master Janelle Mae Frayna and Woman NMs Jan Jodilyn Fronda and Christy Lamiel Bernales compose the women’s team mentored by GM Jayson Gonzales, also the NCFP executive director.
So, the Philippines’ top board player in the 2012 Istanbul Olympiad, earlier told the NCFP via social media that he intends to transfer to the US federation, which has listed him as coach in the Olympiad.
A business finance student of Webster University in Missouri, So said he wants to shift federations in order to further hone his skill in the US.
Apart from the letter to the PSC, which has withheld So’s monthly stipend of P40,000 pending the resolution of his federation status, NCFP chair-president Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr. also wrote So asking for his decision within the week.
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