Checkmate Manila: pawns, paws and a grand chess game in the Philippine capital

It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon in Manila’s Rizal Park and 62-year-old Johnny Siong is crooning his heart out to Whitney Houston’s Saving All My Love For You. He’s doing it partly for amusement and partly to psyche me out – we’re three games in to our four-game, winner-take-all chess tournament and what began as a quiet mano a mano match has attracted an eager crowd of spectators. Young and old, big and small, they are all craning their necks to see if the local legend can defeat the fast…