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Chess Culture in the Philippines Print E-mail
November 21, 2013
Wesley So, Photo Lennart Ootes
FM Mike Klein, 2012 chess journalist of the year, is now at chess.com, where he wrote an important piece on Filipino chess culture in wake of the Typhoon.

The country is easily the strongest island nation in the Pacific, with Australia and Indonesia a distant second and third, respectively. With a dozen active grandmasters and a top-30 world player, the Philippines is behind only China and India as the best chess country in Asia.

The country also has more depth than you might think. The November Elo rating of their 100th-best player is 2122, higher than China's 100th player (2121). Chess.com itself is certainly aware of the game's popularity among Filipinos, as the island ranks fourth in terms of total members per country on our site. The tragedy taking place in the Philippines and the wealth of chess history inspired me to write a piece on the history of chess in their country.

Former World Champion and FIDE Presidential candidate Garry Kasparov concurred with the article’s sentiment:

Two young talents studying in American universities are from the Philippines, including GM Julio Sadorra of University of Texas at Dallas, who gave an inspiring talk at this year’s Denker tournament of high school champions.

In Saint Louis, GM Wesley So is rated over 2700 and was recently featured on a Webster University billboard, which generated a surprising amount of controversy.

So tweeted, 
 Read Mike’s full article on chess.com here.