Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Breaking News: Playing chess is now allowed in Philippine schools!

(On the declaration of the Department of Education on the inclusion of chess in the curriculum starting Jan. 8 this year)

Can you believe it? Playing chess is now allowed in most Philippine schools! I remember during my grade school days (that was on the late 80's) one of our teacher would literally chase us around the school with blackboard eraser on one hand and a centimeter thick of Narra wooden ruler on the other every time she caught us playing chess before the start of the classes in the morning, during break time, and after the classes. She would yell at us: "Now what do you think you brats are doing? Have you already finished doing your homework? Now give me that chessboard! You-" and warned us that if she caught us playing chess again inside the classrooms, she'll throw us in the principal office (first offense) to be reprimanded. Hah! We could become super Grandmasters then even before we reaches 13 if they decided to integrate chess in the grade school curriculum during my time! What a sudden twist of events. Below is the full article from

MANILA, Philippines—National Chess Federation of the Philippines president Prospero “Butch” Pichay Tuesday hailed the Department of Education’s decision to integrate chess in the grade school and high school curriculum starting this year.

“It’s a brilliant move, a welcome development for chess,” said Pichay. “This will be a golden opportunity to develop new talents like Wesley So and help catapult us to world supremacy in chess.

“On behalf of the NCFP, we would like to thank Education Secretary Jesli Lapus for finally deciding to offer chess in public schools. We would like to assure the secretary that the NCFP would throw 100 percent support behind this new project by the DepEd.”

Pichay has produced four grandmasters— So, Darwin Laylo, Jayson Gonzales and John Paul Gomez—since taking over the helm of the chess body in 2005.

Lapus declared the inclusion of chess in the curriculum on Jan. 8.

“In Singapore, parents encourage their children to study chess in elementary because studies have shown that they’re likely to succeed in life if they’re a good chess player,” Pichay said.

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