Asian Star Chess Grandmaster 62-Year-Old Eugene Torre eyes Record at Tromso Olympiad
By Joey Villar (The Philippine Star)
Torre, 62, and Hungarian GM Lajos Portisch are tied for most Olympiad appearances with 20 each, including 19 straight, to break the old record of 18 held by Heikki Westerinen.
“It’s a nice feat but I’m more concerned on helping the team in any way I can,” Torre, Asia’s first ever GM, told The STAR the other day.
Should he fail to qualify, Torre said he will still go with the team as coach.
“But if I couldn’t make a team, I may come as coach of both the men’s and women’s teams,” he said.
The squad, however, will need not just Torre’s coaching and expertise but his vast Olympiad experience that should inspire a team composed mainly of young players like US-based Wesley So, Julio Catalino Sadorra and Oliver Barbosa, who were seeded outright by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines more than a week ago.
So, Sadorra and Barbosa are the country’s highest-ranked players with FIDE ratings of 2731, 2611 and 2592, respectively.
So, who is expected to move to No. 15 in the world ranking in the monthly FIDE rating list this June after topping the Capablanca Memorial in Cuba two weeks ago, is just 20 years old while Sadorra and Barbosa are both 27.
During his time, Torre has manned the top board a record 17 times, played 236 games – winning 86, drawing 111 and losing 39. He snared the bronze medal for Board One thrice in 1974 Nice, 1980 Malta and 1986 Dubai Olympiads.
The vintage Torre also skippered the Phl team to its best ever performance in the Olympiad – a seventh place finish in the 1988 edition in Thessaloniki, Greece, breaking the previous high of 11th in Nice.
From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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