LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – About 250 chessers from various parts of Pangasinan including others from nearby provinces of Nueva Ecija and Zambales have joined the series of chess clinics which serve as the preliminary round of the 2016 Pangasinan Chess Festival.
The four-day chess clinics which kicked off on September 17 at the Provincial Training and Development Center (PTDC) in Lingayen was the curtain-raiser of the Pangasinan chess festival, the country’s biggest and most popular local chess event hosted by a provincial government.
Provincial Sports Consultant Modesto Operania bared during the opening ceremonies of the chess clinics that the provincial government under the administration of Governor Amado “Pogi” I. Espino, III shall continue the chess programs initiated by his predecessor, former Pangasinan governor and now 5th district Representative Amado T. Espino, Jr., in partnership with the Pangasinan Chess League (PCL).
“The legacy of his father shall be continued by Gov. Pogi who vowed to level up further the sports development thrust of the provincial government,” Operania said.
The sports director likewise noted that the Espino administration mulls over the establishment of a sports academy at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center to become the training ground of Pangasinense athletes.
The 6th Governor Amado Espino Chess Clinic scheduled on September 17-18 and 24-25 have provided each participant free-of-charge registration.
The four-month long series of chess festival was launched in 2011 under the administration of the elder Espino.
Meanwhile, PCL President Juan Vicente Sison expressed gratitude to the provincial government for continuing the chess festival to sustain the momentum of local woodpushers in honing their skills in playing chess.
Sison noted that the chess festival through the years has provided a regular training ground for local chess buffs to further hone their skills.
From a chess clinic and tournaments participated in by chess talents from various towns and cities in Pangasinan, the chess fest has expanded through the years with the participation of more amateur chessers from nearby provinces in northern Luzon and even as far as Visayas and Mindanao, Sison said.
The chessfest has also produced a roster of prominent chess players to include Grand Master – elect Haridas Pascua of Mangatarem town who remains as an active participant in some events of the chess festival.
Component activities of the chessfest include: Governor Espino Chess Clinic, 6th Pangasinan Age Group Chess Championship, 6th Pangasinan Chess Championship and Governor Amado Espino Open Chess Championship.
By Dexter A. See