SOME 3,500 young chess players kids from different schools joined on Friday the 1st Chess Summit as culminating activity of the Agew na Dagupan (Dagupan Day) celebration.
Chess Grandmaster Eugene Torre, who was guest of honor and speaker in the event, lauded Mayor Belen Fernandez and the Dagupan City Sports Commission (DCSC) for organizing the program and the Department of Education Schools Division in the city.
He thanked the children and their parents for showing interest in the sport adding that he remembers his late parents who had been supportive of his interest in chess.
“This is my dream to have sports activities like this. But during my time, chess was not that popular,” he said.
He said he had his training in this sport by playing with his siblings and his parents who all love chess.
“You, young people, should show that we Filipinos really have skills in chess as we have already proven this,” he added.
He said Wesley So, a Filipino chess grandmaster representing the United States, is number two in the world in chess.
Although Torres said So represents the US Chess Federation “but let us not be sad because when Wesley did that, I know that like in chess, he analyzed what would help him. “
“We should be very proud of him because as he said, while he is representing the US Chess Federation, he is still a Filipino and the blood that runs through his veins is Filipino blood,” he added.
City Mayor Belen Fernandez said she is providing P1-million from city funds to support chess as a sport of young Dagupenos.
She suggested that instead of playing computer games, “you should also be encouraged to play chess to improve concentration, to help you focus on your studies.”
Fernandez also encouraged DCSC to include elder barangay residents “because playing chess is also beneficial to a senior citizen as chess has been proven to be highly effective in improving conditions like Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”
Finnela Sim, DCSC commissioner, said the chess summit is the first-of-its kind in Region1.
Former Schools Supt. Froserfina Bravo, executive chairman of Agew na Dagupan, said she is happy that chess was included as part of the platinum year celebration of the city’s founding.
“Today, we are really making history as we hold our last activity in line with the platinum year celebration of the Agew na Dagupan,” Bravo said.
Dr. Lorna Bugayong, Dagupan City schools division superintendent, thanked the mayor for always looking after for the welfare of the kids. (Tita Roces)