14ymedio’s 2020 Faces: Roberto G. Pantoja, Chess Grandmaster

Pantoja was removed for denouncing the non-payment of the ‘stimulus’ that was owed to him as a Chess Grandmaster. (Asere)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 28 December 2020 — Cuban Grandmaster (GM) Roberto García Pantoja made news in 2020 beyond his triumphs on the board. On June 29, the chess player denounced on his Facebook wall that the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (Inder) had not made the payment of 100 CUC that was owed to him for nine months for being a GM.

Far from rectifying the error and paying him what he is owed, the Inder summoned him to a disciplinary court, where they reproached him for making his case public through social networks.

The president of the Cuban Chess Federation, Carlos Rivero González, even published a letter in which he said that the Grandmaster faced an “open process” for various “indisciplines,” and that no athlete in that case can be approved a “stimulation” to receive payments.

In response, Pantoja, who had already mentioned that his case was not the only one, requested his separation from the Federation.

Cuban chess thus suffered the loss of another Grandmaster, adding to others who emigrated and now play under the flag of other countries, such as Lázaro Bruzón, Leinier Domínguez Pérez and Yuniesky Quesada.
Several chess players on the island, did express solidarity with Pantoja. This was the case of Yuri González Vidal, winner of the national championship in 2018, and Yusnel Bacallao, the second best Cuban player in the international ranking, who withdrew in protest from the World Chess Olympiad.

See more 14ymedio’s series Faces of 2020


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