MANILA, January 17, 2004  (MANILA TIMES) By Bong Pedralvez, Subeditor - National Chess Federation of the Philippines secretary-general Sammy Estimo may find himself in hot water for coaching the national team in the last Vietnam Southeast Asian Games.

Grandmasters Bong Villamayor and Joey Antonio earlier said Estimo had not been a factor in the Philippine campaign in the Vietnam Games chess tournament.

Estimo boasted the three gold and three bronze medal in the SEA Games as our [ncfps] humble offering, in a statement last Tuesday to defend himself from the criticisms of Villamayor and Antonio that the ncfp was a mess under his stewardship.

The Philippine Olympic Committee roster of the RP delegation to the Vietnam Games lists Estimo as coach of the national chess team.

Sports Times tried but failed to reach Estimo for comment.

Antonio and Villamayor claimed that it was Estimo who told the team that Paragua, a former world junior rapid champion, would not play in the other events if he was not allowed to compete in his forte.

Villamayor, who was once tapped by the PSC to conduct nationwide clinics as part of the its grassroots program, said he knows the government sports agencys rule barring sports officials from being coaches at the same time.

Commissioner William Ramirez said the PSC had a clear-cut policy on national sports association officers who double as coaches.

We do not allow this to happen because of the conflict of interest that may arise. That is why PSC officials are even asked to resign from their other sports ties before assuming their post, said Ramirez, who used to teach at the Ateneo de Davao University and run basketball clinics.

Coaches are entitled to a percentage of the incentives given by the PSC to the Filipino winners in the 11-nation meet. However, the coaches must first have the endorsement of the players before they can claim their share of the incentives.

Antonio and Villamayor, members of the squad that won the team rapid and standard competitions in Vietnam, said they would not endorse Estimo.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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