Fist Asian Grand Master

Fist Asian Grand Master

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Eugenio Torre (born November 4, 1951) is a chess Grandmaster. More commonly known as Eugene Torre, he is considered the strongest chessplayer the Philippines produced through the 1980s and 1990s period, following the heels of Fischer era Filipino chess champions NM Ramon Lontoc, IM Renato Naranja, IM Rodolfo Tan Cardoso and the deceased GM Rosendo Balinas, Jr.

Torre has the distinction of being the first Asian player to earn the much coveted title of International Grandmaster. In a tournament in Manila in the 1976, Torre beat then reigning world chess champion Anatoly Karpov in a game that has become part of Filipino chess history.

Torre qualified for the Candidates Matches for the 1984 World Championship. In that preliminary stage, the contenders play matches against each other to determine who will challenge the world champion. Torre was eliminated when he lost his match against Zoltan Ribli by a score of 6-4.

It is well-known that Torre is a friend of Bobby Fischer. He worked on Fischer's team in his 1992 rematch with Boris Spassky in Yugoslavia. Much later, Torre conducted interviews on Filipino radio with Bobby Fischer. Those interviews gained notoriety for Fischer, and despair for his fans. Torre continues to play actively in local and international tournaments.

His career, spanning almost 4 decades as of 2006, had seen him play in 19 consecutive Chess Olympiads breaking the old record of 18 consecutive held by Heikki Westerinen although still a shy of the record 20 non-consecutive appearances made by Hungary's Lajos Portisch. He had manned the top board for Team Philippines for a record 17 times already except in the 1970 and 2006 editions. He also has taken part in 6 Asian Chess Team Championships (1977, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1993) and once in the World Student Chess Team Championships (1969).

In 2006, Torre, along with GM Paragua, FMs Wesley So, Oliver Dimakiling and Darwin Laylo and IM Rolando Nolte, participated in the 2nd San Marino International Chess Open where he tied for 4th-11th places with 6.5 points in 9 rounds where he eventually placed 7th after the tie-breaks becoming the highest-placed Filipino in the said tournament. He had a performance rating of 2612 at the said tournament and won euro 1,000 for his 7th-place finish.