Featured Player of World Zone

Pancho Amor Simplina

ICCF 896207

Registered: 6/22/2020

ICCF Titles: CCM 2021, CCE 2021

Rating: 2337

Pancho Amor Simplina is my younger brother who learned to play chess during his childhood while watching my father play chess with his friends in the Philippines.

He was the high school chess champion at his younger high school years and represented their high school in the regional chess competitions. He had competed in various regional and national chess tournaments in the 1980s.

His accomplishments in the Philippines:

  • 4 times Cagayan Valley (Region 2) Chess Champion
  • Many times, representative of Region 2 in the Philippines National Chess Championship

(Region 2 consists of 7 Provinces or more than 200 Cities and Municipalities)

He moved to Nicaragua in 2003 to work there and continued playing chess.

His accomplishments in Nicaragua:

  • Champion – 2007 Nicaragua National Open Chess Championship (with National Master title)
  • 1st Runner-up – 2020 Nicaragua International Chess Tournament
  • Winner of various Chess Tournaments


Presently he has a FIDE rating of 2052, with the highest rating of 2201 in April 2009. Afterwards due to work, he stopped playing actively.

As I also resumed playing chess in OTB tournament after about 4 decades in inactivity and started playing in the ICCF correspondence chess during the 2020 at the height of the COVID pandemic, I convinced him to again play actively in chess tournaments and invited him to play in the ICCF correspondence chess games. He registered in June 2020 and in just more than a year accomplished both the CCM and CCE titles.


Here is his comments regarding his ICCF correspondence chess experience :

Being curious at the start, I tried playing correspondence chess but later on I come to love and enjoy playing. Knowing what I would learn in playing correspondence chess, with the help/guidance of chess engines, it helped me a lot in my OTB games or in other online chess games where chess engines are not allowed. With the passing of time I become more interested in playing correspondence chess.

The format of ICCF games teaches the virtue of patience. In wanting to play a good and interesting game of correspondence chess and wanting to win a game, a player should be patient in researching, looking for the best good move/moves recommended by chess engines. Patience is a must even in OTB games.

My experience in OTB games also played an important part in the selection of moves recommended by the chess engines. While the chess engine do the heavy lifting of chess calculations several moves deep but in the end it is always the player who will make the final selection of moves based on his overall strategy and understanding of the positions. It is similar to the F1 formula car racing where all the formula cars are almost of equal strength, speed and build but it is the human driver based on his experience and the  team strategy that wins the race.

Overall there is much to learn from correspondence chess – openings, different positional themes, combinations, positional sacrifices, end games and many more that help in a lot in playing OTB games.



Contributed by:
Arthur Simplina
Philippine Correspondence Chess Association

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