From L-R, Standing: Sabli Metussin (Brunei), Gregory Lau (Malaysia), Yap Choon Tun (Brunei/Auditor), Casto Abundo (Deputy President, Asia Chess Federation), Thanit Chirananthavat (Thailand), Edmundo Legaspi (Philippines), Peter Long (Executive Director) Seated: Sebastian Simanjuntak (Indonesia/Secretary General), Ignatius Leong (Singapore/President), Prospero Pichay (Philippines/Deputy President), Dang Tat Thang (Vietnam/Vice President & Host) and Maung Maung Lwin (Myanmar/Treasurer).
In a ground breaking development, the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), represented by its President Prospero Pichay signed a contract - outsourcing the Event Management of all its International Events in the next two years - to Intchess Asia Pte Ltd represented by its CEO Ignatius Leong.
This followed the ASEAN Chess Confederation (ACC) Board Meeting in Danang, Vietnam, where amongst other things it was agreed that all ACC events would be managed for ACC by Intchess Asia Pte Ltd on the proposal of ACC Treasurer Maung Maung Lwin which was seconded by ACC Deputy President Prospero Pichay.
ACC Secretary General Sebastian Simanjuntak was then tasked by the meeting to develop host and organiser guidelines together with and any necessary rules and regulations required to support the bidding process.
This agreement, according to Prospero Pichay, was significant as it engages professionals with a proven track record in organising international chess events while challenging both parties to develop mechanisms to better engage media and developing activities which would not only further promote chess but also bring tangible benefits to media.
More importantly, it would also allow the NCFP to focus its resources on grassroots and talent development in the provinces while supporting the aspirations of top players in meeting its stated ambition of becoming No. 1 in Asia and ultimately a chess world power.
Besides planned bids for major FIDE events, the NCFP have already confirmed sponsors for 4 GM Opens - to anchor the planned Asia-Pacfic Pro Tour - in each of the two years of the initial contract with Intchess Asia. For Intchess Asia then, its challenge would be to successfully leverage these assets in a brand opportunity that can be expanded across the region.