Jul 15, 2007, 10:43 PM |
Chess Players

Chess has also contributed a lot to the country's winning tradition in sports. Filipinos take pride in having compatriots who became the first international master and grandmaster in Asia. In 1988, the country's top bets placed 7th in the 1988 World Chess Olympiad held in Thessaloniki, Greece. In the year 2000, the Philippine team finished 17th at the Istanbul Chess Olympiad. The Philippines has been participating in the Chess Olympiad since 1956.

Fernando Canon
Fernando Canon is considered the country's first chess champion. He won a chess tournament held in Barcelona, Spain in 1905.

Rodolfo Tan Cardoso
The first international master in Asia was Rodolfo Tan Cardoso, a Pangasinan born chess champion. Cardoso placed 5th in the world junior chess tournament in Toronto, Canada in 1957 and became the first Asian chess champion at the age of 25.

In his participation in world chess tournaments, Cardoso has defeated the likes of David Bronstein and Bobby Fischer and has drawn with former world number 1 Michael Tahl.

While Cardoso has gained a grandmaster norm, he failed to become a grandmaster.

Eugene Torre
Eugene Torre is considered as the first grandmaster in Asia. He accomplished the feat at the age of 22 and won a silver medal at the 21st World Chess Olympiad held in Nice, France in 1974 when the Philippines placed 11th overall. Torre has been a veteran of the World Chess Olympiad for three decades and led the Philippine team to a 7th place finish at the 1988 Greece Olympiad. He also has a collection of three Olympiad silver medals.

Aside from Eugene Torre, the country had three other grandmasters, namely: Joey Antonio, Buenaventura "Bong" Villamayor, and Rosendo Balinas.

Mark Paragua
Mark Paragua placed fifth in the World Youth Chess Championships (boys' under 18) held in Crete, Greece in November 2002. Before this, Paragua became the country's youngest international master at the age of 16 in January 2000.

Glenn Bordonada
Glenn Bordonada won a gold medal in the 1978 Buenos Aires Chess Olympiad.

Rico Mascarinas
Rico Mascarinas won a gold medal in the 1982 Lucerne Chess Olympiad.

Other Chess Champions
Other Filipino chess champions include Rogelio Barcenilla Jr., Richard Bitoon, Arianne Caoili, Kathrynn Cruz, Idelfonso Datu, Joy Lomibao, Nelson Mariano, Beverly Mendoza, Allan Petronio and Roca Sayson.