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Balinas, Rosendo

Rosendo Carreon Balinas, Jr. (1941-1998) was a Philippine lawyer and Grandmaster (1976) who was Asia’s best player in the 1960s. 

He was born on September 10, 1941 in Manila, Philippines.  He learned how to play chess at the age of 7, but did not take up the game seriously until age 15.

Balinas was considered the strongest Asian player during the 1960s and 1970s, before Torre and Anand.

He represented the Philippines in the Chess Olympiads of 1964, 1966, 1968, 1974, and 1976.

In 1966, he was awarded the individual Silver medal on board 3 at the 17th World Chess Olympiad in Havana, Cuba.  He scored 15.5 out of 20.  The Gold medal was awarded to Mikhail Tal.

In 1967, he held Bobby Fischer to a draw  in Manila during a Meralco "Beat Bobby Fischer" match series.

In 1975, he was awarded the International Master title.

He won the Philippine chess championship 7 times. 

In 1976 he won an international tournament in the USSR (Odessa, Ukraine), which gave him the GM title (2nd Filipino and Asian GM, after Torre, who became a GM in 1974).  He scored 10-4.  The last time a foreigner won a tournament in the USSR was in the mid 1930s (Capablanca and Fine winning in Moscow).  Balinas had a performance rating of over 2600 in this event.

In 1983, he went to Dubai to become a chess coach for Dubai.  He stayed for three years.

His highest ELO rating was 2517 in June 1977. 

Best results: Philippine Open 1968 - 1st-2nd; Melbourne 1975 - 3rd; Manila 1975 - 6th; Odessa 1976 - 1st; Dortmund 1976 - 4th; Manchester 1979 - 3rd; Dubai 1984 - 4th.

Balinas died of liver cancer at Antipolo City, Philippines on September 24, 1998 at the age of 57.


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