August 29, 2010 By Leave a Comment
The FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has kept all his promises given during his working visits of this summer. Let’s remind you that in August he inaugurated two tournaments – the 1st UMADA Cup (Trinidad and Tobago, prize fund 40000 USD) and the 1st Latin America Cup (Cuzco, Peru, prize fund 60000 USD). Now it was the turn of the largest Asian tournament – the 1st Florencio Campomanes Memorial.
Two months ago during his working meeting in Manila Mr. Ilyumzhinov proposed the organization and financing of a tournament with an unprecedented prize fund of 1 mln USD to grace the memory of his predecessor, the 5th FIDE President Florencio Campomanes – told Prospero A. Pichay Jr, President of the Philippines Chess Federation. – We gratefully embarked on the realization of the President’s idea. We had a beautiful idea – 10 tournaments in 10 years in 10 ASEAN countries, with each of the tournaments having a 100, 000 USD prize fund.
The opening ceremony was touching and beautiful. All the speakers (among them – President of the Philippines National Olympic Committee Jose Cojuangco, President of the Philippines Chess Federation Prospero Pichay, President of the Iranian Chess Federation Mohammed Kambuzia, Vice-President of the Vietnam Chess Federation Dang Tat Thang, a legendary Grandmaster from Philippines Eugenio Torre), were remembering the 5th FIDE President with warmth, giving very high evaluation to his contribution to the chess development in the entire world. In his turn, Ilyumzhinov said, “Florencio has been an outstanding person. He was known and respected everywhere in the world even by those, who were not very familiar with chess. I recall as in 1995 in Paris he asked me to become a FIDE President. Campomanes added: “I love chess, live for chess and breathe chess. If you are like me, you will like this job” – he said. I gave it a thought and.. agreed”.
There are more than 150 participants from 16 countries who will play in the tournament. The rating favourites in the men’s section are Le Quang Liem from Vietnam and a local 16-year-old start Wesley So.
Philippines has hosted in various years such world class events as a Karpov-Kortchnoi match (Bagio) and a Chess Olympiad (Manila). Mr. Pichay said, “We are dreaming that the land of Philippines would host another Chess Olympiad again. But our national team has to become competitive, to be able to be a worthy opponent to the leading teams. We have plenty of talents, but so far one star – Wesley So. However, such tournaments as Campomanes Memorial, should assist ours and other Asian Grandmasters to gain experience, increase their ratings and be more or less ready in all senses to fight with the planet’s top players”.
The journalists asked Mr. Ilyumzhinov, “how long will the Campomanes memorial last”.
Ilyumzhinov said, “I think it will be there forever”.