There seems a surge in non-master chess tournaments held locally. The not so high price money is definitely not the reason why this kind of tournament is a well-attended affair. It is for the love of the game.
Young and veteran chess players flock venues where these type of tournaments are held. There is also an increase of female participants confirming that chess is no longer a male dominated sport.
Chess has that certain allure where once you learned and played the game, it is very difficult to stop. The game is very entertaining as it is challenging. Chess is relatively easy to learn but very difficult to master. The rudiments of the game keep your mind always constant. It is a mentally exhausting game but one can never get enough of chess.
Non-Master Chess tournaments serve, among others, the purpose of developing the skills of the amateur chess player to reach its full potential. Here, the amateur can metamorphose into a master.
In order for the country to regain its stature as a chess powerhouse in Asia, it is necessary to develop chess players in the grassroots level as envisioned by Executive Order No, 651 dated 07 August 2007.
Here is the complete text (with underscoring supplied) of the said Executive Order -
"EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 651, August 07, 2007
STRENGTHENING THE GRASSROOTS PROGRAM OF THE PHILIPPINE SPORTS COMMISSION
WHEREAS, Section 13, Article 11 of the 1987 Constitution declares that the State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being;
WHEREAS, Section 17, Article 11 of the 1987 Constitution states that the State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development;
WHEREAS, in addition to the above principles, Section 10(1), Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution mandates that the State shall promote physical education and encourage sports programs, league competitions, and amateur sports, including training for international competitions, to foster self-discipline, teamwork, and excellence for the development of a healthy and alert citizenry;
WHEREAS, Filipinos have excelled in international competitions in such sports as boxing;
WHEREAS, the Philippines aspires to have at least one gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics;
WHEREAS, studies made in the United States and Canada showed that children who played chess performed better and received higher scores on standardized test for both reading and math;
WHEREAS, the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan calls for strengthening education in math, science and English;
WHEREAS, Republic Act No. 6847 created the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to carry out the above conditional policies and principles in coordination with the various government departments and agencies and private entities;
WHEREAS, the PDC has a Grassroots Program to carry out the above programs;
Now, Therefore, I, Gloria M. Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the law, do hereby order:
SECTION 1. The Grassroots Program of the PSC shall be strengthened to develop potential gold medalists in the Olympics as well as to encourage children to play chess so as to help their reading and math skills.
SECTION 2. The Grassroots Program shall endeavor to:
a.Plan, implement and oversee a comprehensive educational and training program for boxing, chess and other sports with Olympic gold potentials in coordination with various sectors including, among others, the respective sports federations, the Philippine Olympic Committee, public and private schools, local governments and private corporations;
b.Discover special talent and skills in boxing, chess and other sports with Olympic gold potentials from among students enrolled in the country's public and private schools through competitive tournaments;
c.Develop and hone the aptitude of boxing, chess and other sports with Olympic gold potentials of known exceptional players including those discovered through tournaments;
d.Develop a pool of grade school and high school scholars in chess and sports with Olympic gold potentials who will be given training and financial support;
e.Support aspiring potential Masters and Olympic gold medalists to gain their titles;
f. Develop and promulgate rules and regulations to implement this Executive Order;
g.Conduct promotional and awareness campaigns for chess and sports with Olympic gold potentials to achieve the objectives of an Olympic gold and improved reading and math skills; and
h.Exercise such other acts as are incident to or are appropriate and necessary in connection with the strengthening of the program.
SECTION 3. The Grassroots Program for each sport shall be managed by a program Task Force composed of five members to be appointed by the President from among the following:
b.Philippine Olympic Committee, Co-Chairman
c. The relevant sports federation, Program Director
d.Philippine University Games, Member
e.Business Community, Member
SECTION 4. Each Task Force shall appoint from among its members a full-time Operating Officer who shall direct and supervise the day-to-day operations of the Program and shall have control and supervision over the administrative management of the Program.
SECTION 5. The Grassroots Program shall consist of the following three main components:
a.First Phase - Early recruitment and training
b.Second Phase - Developments and training of the talents of the National Training Pool for the appropriate certification
c. Third Phase - Elite training and preparation for international competition for the purpose of obtaining an Olympic gold medal or Grandmaster title.
SECTION 6. The Program shall be provided with an operation fund of Fifty Million Pesos (P50,000,000) to be drawn from the mandatory contribution of the Philippine Amusement and Games Corporation to the PSC in addition to the annual budget appropriations from the PSC.
The PSC is hereby empowered to conduct fund raising activities by donations benefits and other means for financial purposes of augmenting its operation budget
SECTION 7. All executive issuances, orders, rules and regulations or parts thereof which are inconsistent with this Executive Order are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
DONE in Manila on 7 August, 2007.
(Sgd.) GLORIA M. ARROYO
By the President:
(Sgd.) EDUARDO R. ERMITA"