A total cash pot of US$40,000 (around P5 million) is at stake when the country plays host to the 15th World Xiangqi (Chinese chess) Championship set November 14-20 at the Manila Hotel.
Philippine Xiangqi Federation (PXF) president Wilson Tan said four Filipinos, led by Engr. Asi Chinf, the country’s first Xiangqi Grandmaster, will be facing over 100 players from 26 countries in the tournament sanctioned by the World Xiangqi Federation and supported by the Filipino Chinese Amateur Athletic Federation (FCAAF) founded by philanthropist Jimmy Chan Cuan and headed by president William Gosiaco and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William Ramirez.
“Xiangqi is a 2,500-year-old ancient Chinese game popular all over east Asia. The tournament will boost our effort to introduce the sport in the elite level,” said Tan during a recent media launch at the Pandesal Forum in Kamuning Bakery Café in Quezon City.
“The game of Xiangqi is already popular in Chinese schools all over the country. Right now, we are in the process of coordinating with the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education so that we can introduce the sport in public schools,” said Cuan.
Tan added that hosting the World edition in the Philippines not only helps the country’s effort in boosting tourism but creates positive global image among sports-loving people worldwide. He added that Xiangqi and other sports activities should be promoted nationwide for the youth and people of all ages because the sport is beneficial in improving mental and physical health.
“On behalf of the PXF and FCAAF, we thank the Philippine Sports Commission and other supporters for helping the organizers in ensuring the success of the World Championship hosting,” said Tan.
Aside from host Philippines, among the countries that already confirmed their participation in the event include Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, US, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, South Korea and Japan.