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Chess federation won’t stand in Wesley So’s way

PHILIPPINE chess officials will not stand in the way of grandmaster Wesley So’s  plans of  giving up his Filipino citizenship to pursue his dreams of becoming a world champion.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines secretary-general and Cavite representative (7th district) Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said this after learning of So’s plan to switch allegiance to the United States.

Wesley So
Tolentino said So’s move is a personal decision on his part and the NCFP will have nothing to do with it.

“That’s a personal decision. Doon siya sa better offer, doon siya sa greener pasture,” said Tolentino

Tolentino, who considers So as “a big loss of a national treasure,”  added that the young woodpusher’s move will come at a price to his career as he will have follow the world chess federation’s (FIDE) rules governing player transfers and compensation.

For So to immediately play, a compensation of 50,000 euros will have to be paid to the NCFP, or he will have to undergo the two-year waiting period before he can represent his new federation.

So far, the NCFP has not replied to So’s letter of transfer.

So wrote in his letter to NCFP president Prospero “Butch” Pichay that he will have no choice but to “sit out another year to fulfill my full two-year waiting period so no transfer fees are needed.”

“My coach is helping me reach to them,” So told the Manila Standard.

US-based Hungarian GM Susan Polgar, who is taking the role of So’s coach, wrote in her blog that their offer was not accepted (ignored) by the NCFP.

“Therefore, Wesley had to follow proper FIDE procedures by filing the necessary paperwork, and not competing in official FIDE events for 2 years. Because of this, he will not be able to play for the Philippines in Norway,” Polgar said.

She added that Wesley made no deal with the US, and  therefore, there can be zero expectation that the US will pay the 50,000 euros to the NCFP.

Polgar added that So definitely could not afford to pay this fees from his own pocket as a full-time college student.

According to Polgar, they heard nothing from the NCFP President, even though the deadline to register for the Tromsø Olympiad was June 1, 2014, more than one week ago.

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