MANILA – Over 150 para-athletes across the country will compete in the 2021 Philippine Sports Commission – Pilipinas Para Games (PPG) Online Chess Competition which starts on Nov. 19.

“We are launching this project in our effort to continue efforts to address our need for a truly comprehensive grassroots sports development program for our para-athletes, and continuously harness their full potential,” said PSC Oversight Commissioner for para-athletes Arnold Agustin.

Originally staged in three regional legs, the online chess competition will now be held in one nationwide event with six categories namely, Visually Impaired B1 Completely Blind Men, Visually Impaired B1 Completely Blind Women, Visually Impaired B2 Partially Blind Men, Visually Impaired B2 Partially Blind Women, Physically Impaired Men, and Physically Impaired Women.

The PPG is in partnership with the Philippine Paralympic Committee and the Integrated Philippine Association of Optometrists on the classification of registered para-athletes.

Competition starts on Nov. 19 via Zoom, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will conclude on Nov. 21. Winners will receive medals, certificates of excellence, and cash incentives.

To prepare the national para coaches and technical officials for this competition, a Para-Chess Online Technical Workshop started on Nov. 7 with chess legends GM Eugene Torre, GM Thomas Luther, GM Jayson Gonzales, IA/IO Casto Abundo, and IA/NM James Infiesto serving as resource speakers.

“In a pandemic, we are focusing on chess as it appears to be one of the best solutions for our para-athletes to get themselves going again in sports,” Agustin said.

Registered para-athletes can complete and send their requirements to [email protected] and its official Facebook page. Official list of participants will be announced on Nov. 12. (PR)