MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Sports Commission has suspended the P40,000 monthly stipend of Wesley So after the top Filipino GM and world No. 15 had decided to change allegiance to the United States.
PSC chair Richie Garcia, however, said the suspension would only be temporary pending the resolution of the case between So and the National Chess Federation of the Philippines headed by Butch Pichay.
“Until there will be a final resolution of the issue, we have decided to hold the allowance of Wesley So starting June,” said Garcia in yesterday’s PSA Forum at the Shakey’s Malate.
Garcia was reacting to the 20-year-old So’s decision to jump from the NCFP to the US Chess Federation to pursue his dream of crashing into the world’s Top 10 and perhaps challenge for the world crown.
But So would need an approval from the NCFP to change federations or pay the equivalent fee of 50,000 Euros worth about P3 million.
Otherwise, the Webster U standout will need to observe the two-year waiting period for players changing federations where he will be barred from participating in all international chess federation FIDE-sanctioned tournaments, including the World Chess Olympiad and the World Championship.
In an interview with The STAR, Pichay said he would not give in to So’s request until he gets an official letter from the latter and FIDE.
So, who reached a record No. 15 in the world after topping the all-GM Capablanca Memorial in Cuba a few weeks ago, was supposed to head the Philippine team competing in this year’s Olympiad in Tromso, Norway.