History of Correspondence Chess in the Philippines
Chess is widely played in the Philippines. We have heard about IM Rodolfo Tan Cardoso, the first titled chess player from the Philippines who has shown the talent of the Filipinos in the international scene in the 1950’s and has played with the great chess champion Bobby Fischer. There were other great players who followed IM Cardoso among whom are GM Rosendo Balinas Jr., IM Renato Naranja and then came GM Eugene Torre, the first GM of Asia. Nowadays we have several talented GMs and IMs competing in the international scenes. The highest ranked Philippine chess player of today is GM Wesley So who is one of the top ten in the world but is now representing the US.
In the field of correspondence chess, we have not much information or history of the participation of Filipino chess players. Earliest on record to play in the ICCF correspondence chess is Allan Ong ICCF ID 511689 in 1997. We also have K. Khu ICCF ID 896004 who also registered and play in the ICCF in 1999.
The year 2020 is an eventful year – we have this COVID pandemic that ravaged the lives of countless people around the globe and the adversely affected the livelihood and economies of many countries. Amidst this pandemic, the Philippine Correspondence Chess Association was founded in September of that year.
As we are forced to stay mostly indoor and avoid outdoor activities like going to shopping malls and watching sport events, I took interest and resumed playing correspondence chess and registered with ICCF. There I found out that there is no federation of the Filipino correspondence players and Filipino players are considered at isolated players without any representation. So, I initiated and took action to organize and form the Philippine Correspondence Association and submitted the application for membership to the International Correspondence Chess Association (ICCF) in September 2020. The Executive Board of the ICCF has accepted our application but advised that our formal acceptance will be thru the ICCF Congress in the following year August 2021. However, we were given the authorization to organize and play friendly games with other federations meanwhile we are waiting for the approval of our membership. The good thing about the friendly games is that the games are rated which have given the opportunity to our members who are mostly new to correspondence chess to obtain their ratings free-of-charge.
We have on-going friendly games with the following federations: Panama, Indonesia, India, Wales, Cuba, Spain, Australia, USA and Argentina
Also members of the federation have participated in various team tournaments aside from their individual tournaments:
3rd Africa Asia Team Championship
States and Regions CCC 2021
Nol van’t Riet Team Tournament
1st World Cup Team Tournament
We were also granted the approval to nominate two of our members – Ramil Germanes and Francis Ramos to participate in the World Correspondence Chess Championship 45th Preliminaries.
The Philippines will be represented by 3 teams – Agila, Tamaraw and Barracuda in the upcoming Champions League 9 tournament.
The titled members of the federation are:
CCE Francis Ramos – 2019 first Filipino correspondence chess player to get the CCE title
CCE Arthur Simplina – 2021
CCM/CCE Amor Simplina – both titles 2021 – first Filipino correspondence chess player to get the CCM title
CCE Manolito Manaois – 2021
CCE DatuAli Sinsuat – 2021
CCE Ramil Germanes – 2021
As of this time, there are 46 active members of the federation.
Our federation, Philippine Correspondence Chess Association aims to promote the interest in correspondence chess among Filipino players and contribute to the growth and development of chess in the Philippines in general. We plan to actively participate in various international team tournaments of ICCF.
Now that we are part of the ICCF family, we look forward to an enjoyable journey with all our members in playing correspondence chess and moving forward together as one to even greater heights.
Philippine Correspondence Chess Association
September 5, 2021