Sentro Artista recently held its first chess tournament for all ages to promote mental health awareness through the arts and chess at the Rockwell’s Arton Strip in Katipunan, Quezon City. The event was supported by Sen. Koko Pimentel III.
A dozen participants competed in grueling knockout matches inside the Sentro Artista’s art hub, where spectators watched, including Senator Pimentel, Court of Appeals Justice Alfonso Ruiz Jr., Sagada Coffee partner Richie Watanabe, veteran journalist Jay Ruiz and Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary James Layug, among others.
Pimentel believes that chess is crucial for mental health, noting that the availability of face-to-face interactions among the players now is very important to resolve mental problems and sharpen the minds.
“This is a great idea to have a face-to-face chess tournament since everything is now back to normal. It’s also good to play chess in this kind of art environment, with a cup of our own Sagada Coffee,” Pimentel said.
“We know chess’ reputation as a sport that showcases man’s mental prowess. These pocket chess tournaments are always a welcome sight as they serve as a springboard for our country’s budding players,” he added. “That’s why we are encouraging also the Philippine Sports Commission to support the young athletes as well.”
Sentro Artista Director Marjorie Ruiz, echoed Pimentel’s sentiments.
“Art has the power to heal while chess, motivates us to improve ourselves,” Ruiz said, adding that the one-day chess tournament is part of a series of events that includes painting competitions, arts and crafts classes and musical performances.
Vanessa Celestial, a sought-after vocalist and jazz artist, performed in Sentro’s first jazz night last week.
Next month, Sentro Artista will launch its first publication, a book project with Filipino poets and visual artists.
Among the tournament’s winners were Rolly Parondo Jr. (open class champion) and Narciso Gumila (open class first runner-up), together with Gavin Lorenzo Ruiz (youth class champion) and Miguel De Vera (youth class first runner-up).