The National Chess Federation Philippines (NCFP) headed by president Prospero Pichay has decided to drop Grandmaster Rogelio “Joey” Antonio from the national team bound for the World Chess Olympiad and Asian Games.
This after Antonio caught the ire of the NCFP officials after the veteran campaigner reportedly snubbed the two major chess tournament hosted in the country – the 6th Pichay Cup and the 1st Florencio Campomanes Memorial Cup at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
“Definitely, we will sanction him. Discipline is important for a national player and we will not tolerate players who are prima donnas,” said Pichay.
Antonio, who is the country’s board two player, however opted to go to the US to compete in a series of weekend tournaments.
He won his first competition held in California and is slated to return on September 9.
In a statement, Antonio said that the NCFP president approved his trip by signing the letter of endorsement which he forwarded to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for financial support.
“Yes, I signed the letter intended for the PSC, but it doesn’t mean that he was given the go signal to miss the two major events in the country. We already had the order that national players must take part in at least one tournament, either the Pichay Cup or the Campomanes Cup,” explained Pichay.
“His action shows that he is not serious in joining the team,” added Pichay, explaining the fact that the two international tournaments being held in the country offers tougher competition compared to the US events Antonio opted to join.
Antonio’s replacement will be known after the Campomanes Cup as the NCFP will evaluate local players seeing action in the tournament held in honor of the grand old man of Philippine Chess.
GMs Wesley So, John Paul Gomez, Darwin Laylo and Asia’s first garndmaster Eugene Torre, are the members of the team that will see action in the 39th Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia from September 21 to October 3 and the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou China this November.
– RCJ, GMANews.TV