So Better Than You

Emperador Stadium
June 12, 2014
So Better Than You

I’m already bleeding learning that a national treasure like chess Grandmaster Wesley So is changing allegiances.
And then I ran into this news from ABS-CBN’s website that Philippine Azkals midfielder Simon Greatwich saying that chess should not be considered a sport.
Now I’m livid.
Greatwhich, of course, reacted in his Twitter account @SimonGreatwich about news that So is jumping ship to pursue his goal of barging into the world’s Top 10 and becoming a World champion. Greatwich drew flak from the Twitter world.
Here’s what Greatwich said the other day: “Philippine Sports News kanina – Chess! Really? Chess?! How is that even classed as a sport! Snakes & ladders should be a sport too then.” He then deleted it, realizing it was a mistake.
Since you ask for it Simon, we will try to educate you by comparing you to the best Filipino chess player in the country today, who is, as everyone knows, is So. We will ask the help of Wikipedia.
And we will start with you Greatwich.
Simon Clive Barbon Greatwich (born 30 September 1988) is a British-Filipino international footballer who plays in the Philippines for Loyola Meralco Sparks, as a central midfielder.
Early and personal life:
Born in Brighton on 30 September 1988, Greatwich is the younger brother of fellow players Christopher Greatwich and Phil Greatwich, and was born to an English father and a Filipina mother who is originally from Davao.
Club career:
After playing youth football with Brighton & Hove Albion, Greatwich spent his early senior career in English non-league football with Burgess Hill Town and Ringmer, before moving to the United States in 2009 to play college soccer with the Hartwick Hawks.
In early January 2012, Greatwich signed with Filipino side Loyola Meralco Sparks in time for the 2011-12 United Football League season.
He made his debut for the Sparks on May 18, 2012 against Geylang United FC for the 2012 Singapore Cup.
International career:
Greatwich made his international debut for the Philippines on 17 October 2008 in the 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup qualification tournament.
UFL Cup: 2013; Third 2012
Is that all you got Greatwich?


Now let’s talk about So.
Unlike Greatwich, So’s Wikipedia profile and accomplishments is so long we’ve picked only the most current and vital infos. So is currently ranked 15th in the World. Hear this Greatwich, 15th. And if you’re not looking, will crash into Top 10 soon. His recent victory was topping the Capblanca Memorial in Cuba last month featuring two Top 10 players in the world including former World Title Challenger Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine. And Greatwich, the current World Champion, Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, is his contemporary. In fact, Carlsen invites So to come to his country to train with as part of his preparation. He has won countless others. It’s in multitudes so I’m just posting the link below.

And it’s just So. We haven’t even spoken about Eugene Torre, Asia’s first Grandmaster. Or the late great Florencio Campomanes, former international chess federation FIDE president and the Grand Old Man of Philippine Chess. Heck, you are no match to Edmundo Gatus. And don’t say chess players can’t play football. Norwegian grandmaster Simen Agdestein is a former member of their national football team. But can a football player become a chess master?
I will not malign the Azkals where you are part of. Because unlike you Greatwich, I have respect for them. You being an athlete, of all people, should learn to respect fellow athletes because, in case you don’t know again, football is not the only sport created in this world. Now if you can make the World Cup and win titles like So, then come back to me and harp about chess not being a sport.

P. S.
Wesley So is so better than you Greatwich. Way, way better. And oh, real men play chess.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

(Photos courtesy of Wesley So and Simon Greatwich)


5 thoughts on “So Better Than You

  1. Greatewhich? His name sounds like a pizza or something like vodoo man lol Oh well, just ignore the guy his like Lance Stephenson of the Pacers he runs his mouth more than letting his play do the talking (at least Lance has talents not like Mr Pizza guy) I saw him playing and his style is inferior good only for Palarong Pambansa I guess. Despite it, he still get paid big (bigger than the $ 900 per month allowance of Wesley So) to play mediocre football. After his retirement he will surely consider playing chess lol Oh well, the Philippines pays millions to a guy who is yet to prove his worth and who is yet to win major tournaments. Thats Philippine style of sports support, helping sports association that has little chance of bringing real tropies. Ouch 🙂


  2. So has been bringing honor to the Philippines since he was about 10 years old. He was champion in prestigious world-class tournaments like the Capablanca championship, the Universiade Games and the US Open in Las Vegas. People like this Greatwich who haven’t even played in World Cups or other world-class tournaments pale in comparison to So and other Chess GMs like Eugene Torre, Ros Balinas and about 10 others. And Chess is popular in Philippine grassroots. Sponsors of these jokers should rethink where they put their sponsorship money.


  3. Let him play football in darkness. Let’s see if he can make brilliant moves like what chess masters can do blindfolded. Let’s wait for him to be crippled and then we will watch him play our sports in wheel chair.


  4. “chess is a sport.. all forms of actions in any sports either individual or group are coming from and dictated by the mind” as in chess alone– a chess master gives an amateur a handicap of time with the use of chess clock :1 minute versus 1 hour and i see to it that the chess master will beat the amateur convincingly and easily. so there is a physical aspect there– thinking and moving chess pieces by hand faster on the chess board ..and the result beating his opponent before the allotted time of one minute! another thing is the simultaneous exhibition : a chess master versus 20-50 amateur chess player in 2 hours! if you don’t agree..then try me..


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