So in PH Olympiad team–NCFP
Philippine Daily Inquirer
12:08 am | Sunday, June 15th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines—Super Grandmaster Wesley So spearheaded the lineup submitted by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines for the 41st Chess Olympiad slated in August in Tromso, Norway.

“We want him to play, that’s why we included him in the list,” NCFP president Butch Pichay said Saturday. “But we’re not forcing him to play.”

So wanted to transfer from the NCFP to the United States Chess Federation and posted his letter of request to Pichay though the blog of GM Susan Polgar, his coach at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.

So, who vaulted to world No. 15 following his triumph in last month’s Capablanca Memorial, also claimed that as early as November last year he had informed the NCFP of his decision to represent the Philippines one last time in the Tromso Olympiad and then switch federations.

Pichay clarified, however, that the NCFP never received such letters and if So did it by way of his blog, then it’s not the proper medium to do it.


The timeline from my personal knowledge:

– In November 2013, Wesley wrote to the NCFP President about transferring to the US federation. He offered to play for the Philippines one final time in Tromsø if the NCFP consents for him to switch immediately after the Olympiad. His offer and request were completely ignored.

– The June 1, 2014 deadline passed and still no words from the NCFP.

– Since he heard nothing from the NCFP, Wesley wrote to the NCFP President again about the same issue. Just as the first time, he got no response.

– Since the RP failed to register the team timely, and no one from the NCFP bothered to contact him, Wesley went ahead and accepted the offer from team USA to be the coach.

– Wesley also asked me to publish his second letter to the NCFP President on my blog.

– The story then went viral.

– The media contacted the NCFP President about the situation. At first, he could not comment since he was out of the country. After he was available, he told the media that he knew nothing about the situation as he received no “official” letter. He said he also could not comment about things on my blog and wants to go through the official channels.

– Wesley is now working with the US federation, and they are in the process of sending the official paperwork to FIDE / NCFP.

– All of a sudden, Wesley read from various media outlets that his name has been submitted as a member of the RP team for the Olympiad in Norway. This is a big surprise for him. He hopes it is not true since he was never asked or consented to play for the Philippines. Besides, his name was already submitted as coach of team USA.

How could this be possible?

Because of this drama, Wesley was forced to withdraw from the National Open after he arrived in Las Vegas. He simply could not focus. He is taking a short break to finalize all the official paperwork for FIDE/NCFP, then focuses on his next event in Edmonton.

This is precisely one of the reasons why Wesley wanted to switch federation. He is a full time student while working hard to improve his chess. He has to make his plans far in advance, in accordance to his goals and schedule. He cannot afford for anyone to make decisions for him with no planning, without his consent or knowledge, at the last minute. No top player can succeed in this environment.

Wesley needs to be in a stable, calm, and professional environment where he can fully focus on reaching his goals, while surrounding himself with friends, teammates, and people who can help him.

I have no idea what will happen next. I have not seen anything like this. Your guess is as good as mine.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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