MANILA, Philippines - Julio Cataliono Sadorra, the second highest ranked Filipino chess player next to fellow Grandmaster Wesley So, is eyeing no less than a slot in the Philippine team seeing action in the World Chess Olympiad slated Aug. 1-15 in Tromso, Norway.
The problem though is that he has no means to join the qualification tournament the National Chess Federation of the Philippines is soon to hold in the Philippines, which is far from his base in the US.
“It’s every Filipino chess player’s dream to play for flag and country in the Olympiad especially now that I’ve finished my studies at University of Texas-Dallas,” the 26-year-old Sadorra, self-supporting student who took up Entrepreneurship, yesterday told The STAR.
“But it will be hard for me to fly to the country to play in a qualification event now due to economic and financial reasons,” he added.
It will be a waste not to have Sadorra in the national squad considering that he is currently the No. 2 player in the country with a FIDE rating of 2598, second only to the 20-year-old So, who is No. 20 in the world with 2738.
Just last month, Sadorra reigned in the 2014 Lone Star Open tournament in Houston, Texas where he got enough points to breach the 2600 or super-GM plateau that will be reflected in FIDE’s monthly rating this April . This will make him only the third Filipino to achieve such feat next to So and GM Mark Paragua.
“Yes, I will have a 2601 rating when rounded up in the next FIDE rating list by the end of the month,” said Sadorra, who renewed his passport in Los Angeles, California recently.
Sadorra will join the Chicago Open next this weekend hoping to further gain rating points while maintaining his high level of play.
Sadorra said he wants to pursue playing chess but he will need support from the private sector, and if possible, from the government.
“I’m really hoping and praying I could get support from the Philippine Sports Commission and NCFP soon so I can recoup my expenses and I can play in more events and represent the country in the future,” said Sadorra.
But if things don’t work out as planned, Sadorra said he might go back to the academe and continue his studies.
“I really want to keep a Phl passport and keep playing for the Phl in tournaments here or other places. But it will really depend if I could get a sponsor or support for my chess career. If not, I will consider getting an MBA degree and a normal job in the future,” he said.