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EUGENE TORRE LOOKS BACK, LOOKS FORWARD


PhilBoxing.com



Torre.
MANILA (PNA) -- In 1982, Grandmaster Eugene Torre, who was the best chess player there ever was in the country and Asia, advanced into the quarterfinal round of the Candidates Matches, which, at that time, was the system to determine the top challenger for the world chess championship.

Lack of funding though had him selling chess clocks and even pieces of furniture to fly to the scenic City of Alicante in Spain to face Hungary?s Zoltan Ribli in one of the Final Eight matches with the winner making it to the Final Four.

To augment his finances, he wrote then President Marcos a letter reminding the Chief Executive of his promise to assist him in his campaign for the world crown. The letter, asking the President P150,000, never reached Malacanang, forcing the first Filipino and, for that matter, Asian Grandmaster to travel on his own.

Lacking an able second, which the amount of P150 grand was intended, Torre lost in his first-to- win-10 confrontation with Ribli.

For years following, the memory of that sad experience lingered in his mind. He thought of quitting the game he learned since he was only five years-old, but the thought of someday seeing, if not himself, another Filipino disputing the world championship stopped him from doing so.

?Since then, I have been telling myself, that should not, again, happen to me or any Filipino chess player who has talent to improve on that top eight ranking in the world and, perhaps, challenge whoever is the world champion,? Torre said in last Friday?s SCOOP session at the Kamayan Restaurant-Padre Faura.

Thirty one years after the Alicante experience, Torre made true his promise by establishing the Eugene Torre Chess Foundation and the Eugene Torre Chess Center, which he assured, are aimed primarily at searching hidden talents from the provinces and developing them to continue the quest for honors and recognition he and many others started.

?And, most importantly, to help shoes seeking fame in the different international chess arenas top achieve their dreams by providing them all their needs, including financial requirements,? the now 62 year-old chess genius said. ?as I have been saying, I don?t want my sad experience and those of my peers in other sports, happen to our future sports heroes.?

?Let not lack of money hamper our athletes? campaign in the different sports capital of the world,? Torre emphasized. ?By nature, Filipino athletes, particularly in chess, are talented. ?Everybody knows that.

But the perennial problem of lack of support, especially in funding, remain the hindrance.?

?Marami na tayong nakikitang mga atleta, individual man or team, nag-qualify na para katawanin ang bayan sa international competitions, hindi makapunta because of lack of plane fares,? Torre, who owns the record 21 Chess Olympiad appearances in the last 40 staging of the quadrennial conclave, lamented.

?Instead of getting help, the athletes are being penalized. Sinusupende ang asosasyon so it is the athletes who are suffering,? he bewailed. ?That won?t happen in chess that?s why we formed those two associations.?


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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