Young chess wizard gets scholarship from BARMM

By Noel Punzalan

March 17, 2021, 8:18 pm

<p>BARMM kid chess wizard Al-Basher Buto. (<em>Photo courtesy of BTA Member Rasol Mitmug, Jr.)</em></p>

BARMM kid chess wizard Al-Basher Buto. (Photo courtesy of BTA Member Rasol Mitmug, Jr.)

COTABATO CITY--The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) government has granted a 10-year-old Bangsamoro chess master an educational scholarship, vowing to provide financial assistance for his training and future matches.

“One of the goals of the Bangsamoro Sports Commission [BSC] is to develop young and dynamic athletes in the BARMM as they have these gifted talents to represent its people,” Mitmug said in a statement on Wednesday.

Mitmug said that Buto, who belongs to a Maranao family currently based in Cainta, Rizal with his family, is the first and youngest Bangsamoro master chess player.

The regional government also promised to support Buto in future national and international competitions, he added.

On Tuesday, the 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the lawmaking body of the BARMM, passed Resolution No. 356 commending Buto for his outstanding feats in both national and international chess championships.

Buto has participated in more than 100 chess tournaments since the age of five and has reaped awards in various competitions, including a gold medal in the 13th Asian Schools Chess Championship in China in July 2017.

He also received three individual and two team gold medals for the overall crown in the 8th Asean Age-Group Chess Championship in Malaysia, and a trophy at the National Group Chess Championship in Cebu in the same year.

Lawyer Omar Yasser Sema, another BTA member, underscored the importance of extending support to athletes "to retain them and avoid what has happened in the past athletes" who left the country due to lack of support.

BTA member Jose Lorena, also a lawyer, said BARMM should also provide incentives to its athletes “especially those who win in the international field.” (PNA)