Good chess players aren’t afraid of stronger competition. This is what I’ve learned last Sunday. I was privileged to watch the friendly match among Grandmasters at the last Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship (SNYACC).
Shell National Youth Active Chess bows out
Yes, last. Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (PSPC), which sponsored the annual talent-search since 1992, is bowing out of the chess scene after 25 years. It remains proud of its grassroots youth program that has helped boost the sport and produced world-beaters like Grandmasters Wesley So, Mark Paragua, and Nelson Mariano II.
As a parent, it saddens me that the Shell Active Chess has reached its end. Surely, school officials, mentors, and coaches feel the same way as they believe in the SNYACC program. It has been a great instrument in giving hope to young chess players into becoming coaches themselves or athlete-scholars, and even internationally-known Grandmasters.
So sad that my Big Bunso wasn’t even able to get to experience SNYACC. It was only this year that he finally came out of his shell and decided to test the water. His first outside-the-school chess competition earned him a silver medal. He dreams of becoming a Grandmaster, too, just like Wesley So.
Shell National Youth Active Chess brings high hopes
I do not want to consider the news of SNYACC bowing out as a heartbreaking one. As I always have high hopes for Pilipinas Shell in taking the initiative to unlock the youth’s potential may it be in sports, technology or entrepreneurship. I know, their decision to end the chess tournament will pave the way to another sport that will be instrumental again to unlock the youngsters’ ingenuity and creative spirit.
Did I mention good chess players aren’t afraid of stronger competition? It was what I have witnessed that Sunday when Grandmasters played against each other for a friendly match. And it is also the same thing my 11-year-old guy told me when asked about his chess tourney experience.
He knows that playing against a stronger player is the right way to help him improve at chess. He may probably lose. Definitely, though, he will get something valuable in return. The experience and the good lesson are way important to advance him to the next challenge.
Shell National Youth Active Chess continues to inspire
The ambiance at last Sunday’s final tournament was both interesting and sentimental. As the Grandmasters showcased once more their striking chess moves, surely flashbacks surfaced. Perhaps others reminisced their competition years and the many challenges during the tourney. They may be cried and laughed as they tried to remember those years. But certainly, all are thankful for the opportunity Pilipinas Shell and the Shell National Youth Active Chess gave to them.
This mother congratulates Pilipinas Shell for coming up with the Shell National Youth Active Chess. Your commitment to keeping the chess tournament alive for 25 years is truly commendable. You’ve inspired amateurs and professionals, boosted a lot of confidence, and made names. Surely, future endeavors under your flagship will get the same warm welcome.