The Philippines will be hosting the 2017 Asian Zonal Chess Championship for men and women beginning on Saturday at the Tagaytay Convention Center in Tagaytay City.
More than 100 participants from some 16 countries will vie for the $5,000 cash prize in the tournament sanctioned by the International Chess Federation (FIDE).
The Asian Zonal also serves as a qualifying tilt as the top two players in the men’s division will earn slots for the prestigious World Cup slated in September in Tbilisi, Georgia.
On the other hand, the women’s champion will qualify for the Women’s World Championship.
“We are hosting this FIDE event to give a chance, not only to our top grandmasters to qualify, but for the many aspiring Filipinos who wish to test their skill against the best from Asean and neighboring countries, and try to get the FIDE IM and FM titles and improve their FIDE ratings,” said FIDE and National Chess Federation of the Philippines Secretary General Abraham Tolentino in a statement.
Among the participating teams this year are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The Philippines also hosted the 2013 edition of the Asian Zonal where Filipino Grandmaster Wesley So made it to the World Cup and Filipina Bernadette Galas surprisingly bagged the runner-up honors in the women’s division to earn her Women’s International Master title.
Filipino GM Mark Paragua also qualified for the world meet during the 2011 edition also held in Tagaytay City.