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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Istanbul Chess Olympiad: Record Ahead for Asia's 1st GM Eugene Torre!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

A Business World Online article says that Asia's first Grandmaster, GM Eugene Torre, the 60-year-old "brand-new grandfather" would make a record 21st appearance in the World Chess Olympiad as GM Julio Catalino Sadorra has taken leave to continue his studies. This year’s Olympiad is scheduled from August 27 to September 10 in Istanbul, Turkey.

“This is unexpected. I never envisioned myself representing the country in the biggest stage of chess competition as a senior citizen,” said Torre, who will break a tie with Hungarian GM Lajos Portisch for the most number of stints in the Olympiad.

Portisch has played in 20 consecutive Olympiads while Torre has represented the country in 19 straight Olympiads and 20 overall -- the first in Siegen, Germany, in 1970 and the latest in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, in 2010. He credited his longevity and durability to a healthy lifestyle that includes regular workout in a popular gym. “It’s not just about talent anymore. My recent success is a testament of the importance of living a healthy life.”

His amazing fitness is in full display during the tournament dubbed “Battle of the Grandmasters.” Instead of fading in a 15-match marathon, Torre won his last four matches to share third place with International Master Oliver Dimakiling although he missed the last outright seat to the Olympiad via tie break. GM Mark Paragua won the tournament followed by Sadorra and Dimakiling.

Woman International Master Catherine Pereña will anchor the women’s team followed by Woman FIDE Master Rulp Ylem Jose and Woman National Masters Janelle Mae Frayna, Jedara Docena and Jan Jodilyn Fronda.

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