Benito Vacio

An opportunity in the offing

Two enterprising Filipinos have set up a new chess and language center

Two enterprising Filipinos, who have enjoyed their life in Thailand for 5 years as English educators, have finally decided to work in a partnership and pool their stringent resources to set up Gainsfield Chess and Language Center in the heart of Nonthaburi, located at the 5th Floor of Pantip Plaza in Rathanatibet Road.

You might be curious to know who these people are and how their elusive dream came to reality? Well, Henry is the undisputed No.12 Filipino chess player in Thailand and No. 2058 in the world as recognized by FIDE (World Chess Federation) He is a regular organizer of open chess championships in Thailand participated in by chess enthusiasts and expatriates alike. Recently, he organized the 4th Grand Prix, an open Chess tournament, which starts on the 9th of January 2011. Henry owes a lot to chess for it has made him what he is now. That's the reason I guess why he puts his heart and mind into promoting it.

Roland, on the other hand, was a former Montessori School owner, a college instructor in the Philippines, community service volunteer, English camp organizer, and an English Instructor from Rajabhat University rolled into one.

The two Filipinos were destined to meet one day and agreed with one another, "Yes, why don't we work as partners and open Gainsfields - which could be a monumental place in Thailand - a very strategic training ground for Chess, Science, Math, English, Japanese, French, and Chinese. Who knows, the students we produce may develop and improve their critical thinking, becoming champions in their own way and pursuing excellence in all spheres of life.

Setting up Gainsfields in Thailand has been truly a gargantuan task for the two guys. In addition to the initial course of establishing the center, they also encountered a lot of communication problems which have led to numerous misunderstandings.

Of course, before plunging into this uncertain venture, a feasibility study was undertaken and it yielded very positive and encouraging results and gave the two guys the green light to pursue the opening of the center.

So far, the center has encouraged a number of students to enroll because it is advertised via the Internet, flyers, friends, and students themselves. At present, they have an inspiring number of students despite the fact that they only started two months ago. Fortunately, the center is in a very strategic location for chess and language eager beavers so that a day never passes without inquiries that end up in enrolment. Henry and Roland's optimism confidently make them speculate that in two years they will be able to break even and hopefully expand their services for the benefit of more students as well as jobless Filipino teachers. Similarly, they hope to move to a big building like the "Brain" so that they can serve more clients.

The school has teachers of various nationalities: 2 Americans, 2 French, 1 Japanese, 1 Chinese, 5 Filipinos, and 2 Chess teachers, Chanida Taweesupmun, Thailand's No. 1 woman chess player, and Henry Calacday himself.

As stipulated in the center's philosophy, the founders expect graduates who will gain sufficient knowledge in their respective areas and be champions in their own field of studies because of the scientific techniques employed by the teachers, notwithstanding the emphasis of practice which is a vital key to proficiency.

The center caters to the needs of all ages - kids to adults whether beginner, refresher, or advanced. What makes the center different from other learning centers in Thailand is that chess is being offered particularly to Thai kids who would be studying in a scholarship to be future grandmasters like World No. 1 , Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Bobby Fisher of America , Garry Kasparov of Russia, V. Anand of India, and Wesley So of the Philippines.

In the near future, the center will be needing staff to meet the demands of numerous clients that may come from government offices, private companies, and highly motivated individuals who may want to enhance their language skills in FEJC (French, English, Japanese, and Chinese) By then, the center will serve as a monitoring agency rather than merely functioning as a language center. So, if you will be out of job in the future and you want extra income, keep in touch with Gainsfields or call them on 08 963 2878. If you have children, nephews or nieces who would like to learn Chess, just call up Henry at his number. Better still, drop by the 5th Floor 5015 Pantip Plaza Bldg., Ngamongwan Road, Bangkhen, Nonthaburi.

Incidentally, Henry also wants to invite all Filipino Chess enthusiasts (newbies - expert) to participate in the 4th Grand Prix - An Open Chess Tournament for Thais, expatriates, and Filipinos to be held on THE 9th January 2010 at Gainsfields Chess and Language Center from 8:30 am. to 5:00 pm. Registration Fee is 300 Baht. Competition starts at 9:10 am. Late registrants can compete for the 2nd round with 400 Registration Fee. There will be 5 categories: Expert, Advanced, Intermediate, Beginner, and Newbies. There will also be special events like Filipino Championship and Championship for Women. Trophies, medals, and certificates await the winners.


Mark, e-mail me at I think I have found one sports to feature and that's yours. I'm sure a lot of readers would be interested how to do sports management. I was once a swimming, athletics, volleyball, and table tennis coach.I want to know more about what you do. Having sports in our site is a good move to widene the content coverage of our site. Thanks for the interest.

By Benito Vacio, Nonthaburi, Thailand (26th January 2011)

Sir Ben if you have chance to write about the filipiono's activity regarding outdoor sports management or simply sports officiating specifically in basketball I am one of the many who will appreciate it...I believed managing or officiating basketball league on this land of the smile is worth doing.
My question, do we have a legitimate officiating group here in thailand so we can join....

god Bless!

By mark mag-aran, banok-banok (26th January 2011)

Hi, Kristina. So, you are visiting our site, too. It's a small world indeed. I hope that you could have that work for you so that I could see you and work in one of the centers here. Good luck.

By Benito Vacio, Nonthaburi, Thailand (25th January 2011)

Hi Sir Ben! It's nice to see you here. I was just referred by my friend who is now in Thailand. She has offered me a job there. I am working it out now and it's really a blessing to see your write up here. I hope to someday be in that center, too.

Anyways, let's get together once I'm there.

By Kristina Alingalan, Manila, Philippines (24th January 2011)

Hi don thanks sir Ben! The Grand Prix #4 Gainsfield Chess Tournament last January 9, 2011 was supported by all chess communities here in Thailand. This also gained and awakened the interest of Thais to play and study chess. It was participated by 38 players from 7 countries. The youngest player played in this tournament is 8 years old and the oldest is 74 years old, this shows that even how young or old we are, we can still enjoy the game of chess. And yes, 9 Filipinos participated in this tournament. I hope more Filipinos and that Filipino children will partipate on our next tournament.
Agian thank you and I am inviting you all to our Grand Prix #5 Gainsfield Team Scoring Chess tournament on February 6, 2011.

By Gainsfield Chess and Language Center, Pantip Plaza Ngamongwan Nonthaburi Thailand (15th January 2011)

don, that's why I was flabbergasted and featured Gainsfields. I know there are schools and businesses already run by Filipinos, but Gainsfields is something different.In fact, I witnessed Grand Prix 4 at Pantip Plaza in Ngamongwan, Nonthaburi last January 9, 2011. Boy, it was participated by 32 chess enthusiasts from different countries! I do hope too, that Gainsfields will inspire more of our kababayans and make a difference in their second home.

By Benito Vacio, Nonthaburi (12th January 2011)

I'd like to congratulate Henry and Roland for venturing bravely into such an enterprise. On the other hand, I'd like to thank Sir Ben for this encouraging article. This doesn't only help Gainsfield but also boost the morale of discriminated but highly qualified Filipino lecturers in Thailand. I hope I could find time to visit the center and gesture support to both of them.


By don Filipino Lecturer, rangsit (12th January 2011)

telio, I don't have any idea how a FIDE rating is obtained. Please call up Henry - 0894928723. I'm afraid Henry and Roland's center can't accommodate your suggestions at the moment. Perhaps, in the near future when they move to a bigger venue, we can have dance and sports facilities as well. Good luck to your chess quest.

By Benito Vacio, Nonthaburi (6th January 2011)

I support and like this learning center it really fits for cognitive learners. If in any chance they could include physical classical to modern dances and sports clinic specifically basketball where most Filipinos here are passionate in playing and coaching young kids too. Language (english) can be taught through healthy and interactive activities...By the way how would you know your FIDE rating do you need to register for competition or you can have it through playing online chess? If for the later, which chess online sites are legitimate to give you rating....

@ to sir Henry, i am chess enthusiast since high school but haven't familiarized the different lines played by GMs when i happened to understand and comprehend the mechanics of chess 960 known as modern chess introduce by the great Bobby Fischer Am starting to love it, coz i agree with the idea that classical chess isn't fair to both player matching when the other played on his own openings while the others have knowledge about different lines... I wish the shuffle 960 chess be promoted also as there is a chance to be known and be included in chess competition...

By telio, banok banok , sisaket (5th January 2011)

Thanks for this BLOGS!
1) 2058 is Henry's World or FIDE Rating not ranking
You can call the school at 080 963 2878

2) Henry Calacday organized 7th and 8th BCC rating Tournament

3) currently the highest Filipino FIDE Rated chess player in Thailand and approximately 15th-20th ranked active chess players in Thailand

By Gainsfield Chess and Language Center, Pantip Plaza Ngamongwan Nonthaburi Thailand (5th January 2011)

Foghorn leghorn,

Thank you for patronizing our site. Here's my answer.

For your information, I know of two English projects in Nonthaburi that have been successfully running their programs for almost six years now. Actually, 85-90 % of their teachers come from non -English speaking countries, but the teachers are hired because they have completed a Bachelor's Degree in Education either in Elementary or HIgh School. Some of them have related degrees but they have earned at least 18 units in Education and have taught in Thailand for a number of years. Others are in the project because of their teaching experience here in Thailand as teachers from international schools in Bangkok or government schools in the provinces of Thailand. In other words, these teachers are full-fledged teachers in their own countries, experienced, passed the teachers' board, have teaching licences, others are even university instructors. Also, there are private agencies in bangkok, and there are so many of them, that recruit teachers from all nationalities as long as they are Teaching Degree holders.So, if you're interested to know more about jobs, visit for vacancies and who knows, you'll be able to find one. Good luck!

By Benito Vacio, Nonthaburi (4th January 2011)

I would like to know how people from a non-english speaking country are teaching in Thailand?????

By foghorn leghorn, bangkok (2nd January 2011)

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