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Friday, September 28, 2012

Filipino Chess Icon Eugene Torre Upbeat About National Chess Team

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

Hi everyone,

Filipino chess icon GM Eugene Torre has said that while the Filipinos finished 21st in the recent Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, they proved that they can slug it out with the world’s elite, beating top teams Bulgaria and England. The Filipinos even moved to joint second in a field of 143 after a draw with No. 4 Hungary and victories over the Bulgarians and the Englishmen. But defeats to China and Romania in the closing rounds spoiled their remarkable run, according to an article in The Philippine Star.
“It was an eye-opener that we could slug it out with the elite teams,” said Torre, Asia’s first grandmaster who at 60 remains as sharp as ever.

“At one point during the Olympiad we’re already in second. It only makes us think that we cannot only shoot for a top 10 finish but the top three,” he said.

“Madami talaga ang nagulat sa atin (We surprised a lot),” the Pinoy chess icon said during the POC-PSC Hour radio program.

Torre and fellow GMs Wesley So, Mark Paragua, Oliver Barbosa and Oliver Dimakiling, who really made heads turn in Istanbul, will try to find all the winning lines in the next SEA Games.

This early, Torre said he wants to find out which events are going to be played in Myanmar despite earlier reports that the host country wants a total of 21 events.

Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco has asked Torre to come up with a list of the events they prefer to compete in and where they are most comfortable. “Therefore we can push for these events the next time the members of the SEA Games Federation meet to finalize the number of events,” said Cojuangco.

Torre is confident that the Philippines can improve on its haul of one gold, four silver and three bronze medals in the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia. “I heard Myanmar wants to include Myanmar and Asean chess and even Fischer Random in the events next year aside from the standard and blitz,” he said.

“We’re not used to the other events but we need to embrace them now,” said Torre.

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