Former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov of Russia pledged $10,000 for the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda.
Kasparov, on board Thai Airways TG 620, arrived on Tues¬day afternoon at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport with Fédération interna¬tionale des échecs (FIDE) Secretary General Ignatius Leong for a one-day visit in the country as part of his bid for the 2014 FIDE presidency.
“I’m here to meet with the Philippine Chess Federation about my FIDE presidency bid. But the current situation in the country, the horrible catastrophe, I think it is appropriate to commit 10 thousand US dollars as help,” Kasparov said.
The chess icon was welcomed at the airport by National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president Prospero “Butch” Pitchay, first Asian Grandmaster Eugene Torre, and NCFP Secretary General Jayson Gonzales.
Kasparov is running against incumbent FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov who is seeking his sixth term.
Kasparov had already visited Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand where he discussed chess development in the Asian region as well as his candidacy in FIDE’s election next year.
The last time Kasparov visited Manila was in 1992 when he witnessed the construction of a chess plaza at the Luneta Park.
At the age of 22, Kasparov emerged as the youngest undisputed World Chess Champion in 1985 after beating then champion Anatoly Karpov. Kasparov, considered by many as the greatest chess player of all time, is also a writer and political activist.
Asked if he is supporting Kasparov’s presidential bid for FIDE leadership, Pitchay said: “At the end of the day, you have to look at the program which shall really improve chess not only in the Philippines but all over the world.”