Champion PWD chesser’s uplifting advice: Embrace your struggles

Jul 3, 2020

JUST this June, multi-awarded chesser Sander Severino notched another achievement when he took first place at the first IPCA (Internationally Physically Disabled Chess Association) Online World Championship.

Besting international rivals, including a five-time PWD champ from Ukraine, the 34-year-old from Negros Occidental won by just 1.5 points ahead of his closest competition. He won a total of eight games and one draw.

Just a month prior, he had won second place at the FIDE Online Cup for People with Disabilities.

Back in 2018, Severino was also a multiple gold medalist at the Asia Para Games.

In an interview after his IPCA match, the affable Severino talked about his outlook in life in a video interview with video staff.

“Lahat naman tayo, may mga kanya-kanyang struggles,” he said. “Embrace lang po natin.”

Truly humbling words from someone who has been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, a progressive disease that damages his muscles, since he was 8 years old. Wheelchair bound, he’s been using the pandemic to study chess plays and strategies in an effort to emulate his idol, champ Wesley So.


And while he may be a champion himself right now, Severino keeps things low-key, cheerful, and humble.

“Ang mga problema nandiyan lang para i-solve natin, katulad ng sa chess,” said Severino.

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Watch the full interview below:

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