Lingayen – Governor Amado T. Espino, (GATE) Jr. has expressed gratitude to chess players and enthusiasts from Pangasinan and other provinces and cities in the country for their “unwavering support and appreciation to chess clinics and tournaments of Pangasinan Chess Festival (PCF) sponsored by his administration since 2007.”
Addressing over 200 participants during the opening program of the 7th GATE Cup – Open Chess Tournament held at the Pangasinan Training and Development Center (PTDC) on December 20, Governor Espino thanked the parents and guardians of young chess players for their support as he hailed the partnership of the local government unit (LGU) Pangasinan and the Pangasinan Chess League (PCL) in conducting National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) – sanctioned chess clinics and tournaments in the province.
“Napakalaking bagay sa sports na makapagsagawa kami ng chess clinics at tournaments dito sa Pangasinan at nagtagal ng pitong taon,” Gov. Espino told the participants of the 7th GATE Cup, the last component tournament of 2015 Pangasinan Chess Festival.
The provincial chief executive bared that sports development has been aligned with the vision of the province: “The best place to invest, work, live and raise a family.”
He added that the projects that are implemented under his leadership are intended to be enjoyed especially by children of today and the next generation.
He also said that the things done by the provincial administration promote “equal chances for everyone.”
Through the years, the chess festival has extended its scope made evident with the large number of participants coming from nearby cities and provinces in northern Luzon and even from some parts of Visayas and Mindanao.
It was also learned that Pangasinense chess sensations who are products of GATE chess clinics and tournaments continue to carve names in national and international levels; the most-celebrated is Grand Master (GM) – elect Haridas Pascua.
Several Pangasinense chess prodigies were also offered scholarship grants to become varsity players of elite universities in National Capital Region.
Ceremonial moves by Gov. Espino and Fernando Mendoza, a graduate of GATE chess clinics and now varsity player of University of the Philippines (UP) – Diliman chess team who is a gold medallist of the 11th ASEAN Age Group Chess Championship, formally kicked off the chess tournament.
The 7th GATE Cup also attracted rated players which include International Masters (IMs) Chito Garma (Manila), Barlo Nadera (Malabon) Roderick Nava (Cavite) and Mari JOseph TUrqueza (Quezon City)( FIDE Master Nelson Mariano, III ( Quexon city); Women FIDE Masters Samantha Glo Revita (Rosales) and Cherry Ann Mejia (San Jacinto) ; National Masters Verth Alora (Anda), Noel Dela Cruz, Emmanuel Emperado (Paranaque), Michael Gotel and Dennis Gutierrez, Jr ( San Fabian).
Also present during the chess tournament opening program were: Provincial Sports Director Modesto Operania and National Arbiter Ricardo Yuson.
Component chess tournaments of 2015 PCF include: 5th Pangasinan Age Group Chess Championship, 5th Pangasinan Chess Championship and 7th GATE Cup – Open Chess Tournament. –Mark Gerry Naval Oblanca