I became so addicted to the game. One time there was a competition in Cagayan De Oro when I was in my 5th year at the university. I did not ask permission from my parents and teachers that I was leaving because anyway I’m not staying there too long. Well, the weather did not cooperate and that trip turned into two weeks. I was dropped out of university.

Others are addicted to gambling, maybe basketball or football but for me, there is no other game more worthy of my time than chess. I learned from the streets when I was young. Before, I would compete here and even became a champion in Manila. That career provided my basic needs for a while. This is why I don’t encourage my kids to learn it. I let them focus in school. I don’t want them to be like me. I play for hours that sometimes I forget to eat.

My mind is not as sharp as it used to be, so recently, when I see kids on the street who are interested to learn I would teach them. Do you know what the greatest technique in chess is? You need to have a solid opening. Start strong because that will make you ready for unexpected moves as the game progresses. People who start strong often win.