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Veteran coach shows why chess is good for children

(The Philippine Star) - August 11, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Not many people realize it, but chess is a sport designed for the brave. Just one look at the board pieces — knight, king, queen — and one will realize that it is truly a game for warriors at heart. Chess also requires quick thinking and mental courage to implement attack moves, and superb hand-eye coordination.

These are just some of the interesting but truthful insights shared by National Master Roland Joseph Perez, who is also currently the head chess coach of Letran College. Perez could be considered one of today’s staunchest advocates and real-life heroes of the sport of chess. He believes chess can help lay the foundation for instilling important values among kids such as responsibility, discipline, ingenuity, determination, diligence, and sportsmanship. He knows, because his own life is a testament to the positive benefits of the sport.

Just like a number of Filipino chess grandmasters today, Perez began playing chess at a young age. “I have always been very competitive, even as a kid,” he muses. “In fact, when I started playing chess at age seven, I’d often pretend I was defending my own castle during games. I always strive to win by outwitting my opponents. That’s how intense I was back then.”

He was actually considered a child prodigy in his hometown of Meycauayan, Bulacan. Back in those days, he would play against older opponents and surprise them with his daring attack moves. In many such games, he often ended up the winner.

“People would often say, ‘pag matapang ka, mag-basketball ka, pero kung duwag ka, mag-chess ka na lang,” he says. “But that’s not really the case. It actually takes more courage to play chess because if you lose in this game, you also incur great emotional pain.”

“Teaching kids how to play chess early is good since it inculcates good values. The sport also helps steer children away from vices. It also gives them a chance to develop self-confidence and become more productive citizens,” he adds. “In fact, playing good chess can also open up doors to scholarship grants, enabling them to go to exclusive schools.”

Being one of the most popular and longest-running social development programs of Shell, the National Youth Active Chess Championship has played and continues to play a very important role in youth formation in the country. “Kids should grab the opportunity to learn and excel in the sport by joining free programs such as the Shell chess championship,” encourages Perez.

The Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship is a legacy project of Pilpinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, a leading company in power, energy, and gas technology in the country. Shell believes that it has a role to play in nation building, sharing in every way to develop the potentials of the Filipino youth to become productive individuals while helping the country move towards progress.

 

BULACAN CHESS LETRAN COLLEGE MEYCAUAYAN NATIONAL MASTER ROLAND JOSEPH PEREZ NATIONAL YOUTH ACTIVE CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP PEREZ PILPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM CORPORATION PLAY SHELL NATIONAL YOUTH ACTIVE CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP
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