NEW FILIPINO INTERNATIONAL ARBITER (IA)
Diliman Preparatory School (DPS) chess coach National Master (NM) Erwin L. Carag became the Philippines 14TH international arbiter (IA) after his IA application has been approved by the Federacion Internationale Des Echecs (FIDE) during the 36TH Chess Olympiad (75TH FIDE Chess Congress) in Calvia, Majorca, Spain. He is the 4TH Filipino IA who gained the distinction since the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) became the sole governing chess body in year 2000.
"I am extremely happy with this achievement and consider it a blessing from God.
I could have chosen to pursue my personal chess playing career but I decided to become a full-time chess coach and chess arbiter. I guess my sacrifice (to set aside for a while my personal ambition as a chessplayer and concentrated on chess coaching and arbitration which started when I am still at the peak in playing chess) paid off because right now I feel fulfillment as a chess arbiter and chess coach," said Carag.
Carag was a former Philippine national kiddies chess champion in the '80s together with his younger brother FM Elmer L. Carag. He garnered the national master (NM) title in the 1991 Far East Bank-RP International Open Chess Championship. As a chess coach, he has trained GM Mark C. Paragua (in his formative years), NMs Robert Suelo, Michael Gotel, Marlon Bernardino, Jr., Robert Arellano (National University chess coach), Deniel Causo (2003 Shell National Youth Active Chess-grand champion), WNMs Kathryn Ann Cruz, Rachelle Pascua and Cristina Santos (1994 National Women co-champion). He is affectionately called "chess coach ng bayan". He was elected as a founding board of director of NCFP (2002-2001). Currently, he is training students of Ramon Magsaysay (Cubao) High School (RMCHS).
With the recent string of successes of Filipino chessplayers internationally, this feat is a welcome news. "My motto is : Win in CHESS ! Win in LIFE ! Filipino chessplayers are really talented, world-class and definitely are winners." added Carag.