The Department of Education has thrown its full support to the 19th ASEAN Age Group Chess Championships slated June 18 to 28 in Davao City by allowing student participants leeway in the classes they will miss at the start of the school year.
In a memorandum sent to all its regional directors and sports officers, DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali said that students who will participate in the 11-day tournament will be assisted and be allowed special classes.
“We wish to inform you that this office fully supports the invitation to participate in this international competition,” said Umali in the same letter. “While we can not disrupt classes, we will allow students who shall participate in this activity remedial classes or be provided with modules for them to learn and compensate absences during the competition period.”
James Infiestio, vice president of the organizing Chess Events International, for his part, welcomed the recent development.
“We thank the DepEd for fully supporting the tournament and this should help our chess players to focus more on their training and preparation in their quest to make our country proud,” said Infiesto.
The event, which is sanctioned by the NCFP headed by Butch Pichay and hosted by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, is open to all aged woodpushers 20 years old and below not just in the country, but the whole of Southeast Asia, including powerhouse Vietnam and also some participants from the Asia-Pacific.
The event, which has already held regional qualifiers in Mati, Davao Oriental, Iba, Zambales and Roxas City early this year and late last year, is staking FIDE and International Master titles and a chance to represent the country in the Asian Age Group Championships next year.
The country’s campaign will be led by FIDE Master-elect Daniel Quizon, a 14-year-old prodigy who is being groomed as the country’s next Wesley So.