NCFP remains hopeful GM So will join PHL team in Olympiad
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The National Chess Federation of the Philippines is still hoping that super grandmaster Wesley So will represent the Philippines in the 41st World Chess Olympiad slated Aug. 1-14 this year in Norway.

NCFP executive director Jayson Gonzales, also a grandmaster, said they are still waiting for the decision of the 20-year-old So who expressed his intention to join the US team as coach in the Norway Chess Olympiad.

”As of now, I have not received any official communication from Wesley’s family. Everything is only through social media, which we found out, is not true at all,” Gonzales said yesterday.

Gonzales said the participating countries have been given until July 1 to submit the composition of their teams in the tournament.

In a supposedly confidential email, So reportedly asked NCFP to release him to play for the United States.

“So has just asked to transfer to other federation and his citizenship is not included,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales said So can play for the Philippines while coaching the US Team in the World Chess Olympiad.

“It happened already before, just like the woman chess player of Colombia who also coached the North American team. Wesley can play for the Philippines and then coach the US team,” Gonzales said.

Aside from So, expected to represent the Philippines are grandmasters Julio Catalino Sadorra, GM Mark Paragua and Oliver Barbosa as well as the winner of the Battle of the GMs.

The women’s team will be represented by Cheradee Camacho, Jan Jodilyn Fronda and Janelle Mae Frayna.


This was what I wrote before:

Wesley offered (the NCFP) last year (in November) to represent the Philippines one last time at the upcoming Olympiad in Tromsø if the NCFP consents for him to switch federation immediately after the Olympiad.

This offer was not accepted (ignored). Therefore, Wesley had to follow proper FIDE procedures by filing the necessary paperwork, and not competing in official FIDE events for 2 years. Because of this, he will not be able to play for the Philippines in Norway.

Wesley made no deal with the U.S. Therefore, there can be zero expectation that the US will pay the 50,000 euros to the NCFP. He definitely could not afford to pay this fees from his own pocket as a full time college student. He also heard nothing from the NCFP President, even though the deadline to register for the Tromsø Olympiad was June 1, 2014…

This was an agonizing personal decision for Wesley. But it had to be done. He really wanted to represent the Philippines one last time. But it was not meant to be as he did not receive the green light from the NCFP in consenting the switch. Now that the deadline has past, it is too late. Wesley went on to make other chess commitments.

Wesley takes his chess very seriously and he cannot afford to let his career flounder without any communication or direction from his national federation. Because of this, he told me that a move had to be made. By writing this letter, Wesley hopes that the NCFP will not stand in the way and delay his progress toward the top 10. For his sake, I hope so too.

Updates according to my personal knowledge: 

The second letter Wesley wrote to the NCFP was also ignored. No one contacted him. Things ONLY started to move in the media after Wesley asked me to post the second letter on my site. There were still NO contact from the NCFP. The only information Wesley got (from the media) was the request from the NCFP to make things OFFICIAL. This means that instead of working things out on personal level, the NCFP wanted the USCF to send the official transfer form (and filing fees) to FIDE (copying the NCFP).

Upon learning this, Wesley withdrew from the National Open to finalize this process. His career is on the line and he cannot afford to lose more valuable time. This is how serious he is about it. This is a critical age for his chess development, a time which he cannot afford to waste.

The OFFICIAL paperwork to switch federation has been filed. It is done. The ball is now on the NCFP’s court. The NCFP had since last November to communicate or work out various arrangements with Wesley. This did NOT happen. In addition, just as in the past, decisions were made without his knowledge or consent such as submitting his name for the Olympiad team, when it was known that he signed an agreement to coach team USA when he got no response from the NCFP.

Now the only thing remains is whether the NCFP will consent the immediate transfer so he can make proper plans for his future, or will the NCFP will punish him by making him sit out of official FIDE events for another year. There cannot be any other possibility.

I hope that Wesley can be left alone for the next week so that he can concentrate fully on the Edmonton Invitational. I truly hope that everyone will want what is best for Wesley and his future.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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